Follow-Up: Ag Awareness Day

Ag Awareness Day at the University of Minnesota was the bomb.com. I have never seen so many people my age be so excited about agriculture–much less in the middle of the Twin Cities–than at the U of M last Tuesday. I only stayed for half of the day (I couldn’t miss my Islam class) but I can only assume the enthusiasm level was risen to unspeakable heights after I left. Here is a healthy dose of highlights from Ag Awareness Day:

  • My favorite part of the day was how many compliments I received on my heels, even by the students I walked by that were not partaking in the Ag Awareness Day event. I know this day was all about agriculture, but there is always time for fashion.

Photo by Richard Marshall/St. Paul Pioneer Press

  • I think some people were surprised that I was a female, but I was wearing heels, so I am not sure what the confusion was about. There is still room for female advocates in an industry is dominated by males.
  • I do not like to brag, but I was the unofficial queen of Ag Day (and I would have been supreme ruler too if the llamas would not have stepped in and stolen my thunder).

Photo by Richard Marshall/St. Paul Pioneer Press

  • The smiling faces in the picture say it all, they were excited to be around me. (Thanks again Richard for sharing the picture, such a doll!)
  • These smiling faces were part of the Minnesota Daily, so you know an event is a big deal when there are media folks smiling that big at an event they are covering.
  • Speaking of media, this picture was shown in the Pioneer Press, and I was briefly on KARE11 TV! MCGA‘s Riley Maanum was interviewed for the 6 O’clock news also on KARE11.
  • The media had plenty to cover, since out on Northrup Mall, roughly 15 agriculture groups had free giveaways and games galore. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and Minnesota Corn Growers Association had the most popular interactive booths. MSGA had a trivia game that involved spinning a wheel and winning a prize. MCGA hosted a game of corn toss and I walked around asking people about their corn knowledge.

Me playing corn toss next to MCGA’s Jenna Kromann.

  • There was a mini petting zoo all day. Animals at the petting zoo included cows, chickens (and the incubated eggs), sheep, and llamas.
  • Inside of Northrop Auditorium, there was a panel of agriculture specialist talking about their specialty. I was too busy working the crowd, so I unfortunately missed the details of those specialties.
  • Following the panel, Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore gave a presentation.
  • I suppose I should mention that Beef Man was there, also trying to steal my thunder. He had quick-like-a-bunny boots on and would play tricks on me throughout the day. This is why I believe he deserves the last bullet point, even though I think a lot of people enjoyed him being at Ag Awareness Day.

The first annual Ag Awareness Day was a great success. The event was particularly great because the non-farming public and the farming public intersected in a way that worked magically. I was having a conversation with @ zweberfarms about how these two public groups  rarely interact and talk about agriculture together. This event showcased the possibility of agricultural conversations occurring more often in the future. To misconstrue  Martin Luther King Junior’s speech:

I have a dream, that little farming girls and little farm boys will be able to join hands with little city boys and little city girls.

As always, keep growing.

Nafaka

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Ag Awareness Day

Tomorrow is Ag Awareness Day at the University of Minnesota, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. My last post, “Farming 101” has nothing on what tomorrow will do for educating people about farming and agriculture in general. This is truly a moth-watering experience for a college student studying agriculture and communications.

First of all, I get to meet enthusiasts agvocates (advocates for agriculture) like myself throughout the day. While I am talking to these 100 plus advocates for agriculture, I can collect swag. (For anyone who has see The Office and how excited Michael Scott becomes about swag, this is a big deal.)

Second,  various agriculture groups from outside of the University of Minnesota will be on campus to celebrate the event. Minnesota Corn Growers Association will be giving out Frisbees to play with and have a game of bags going throughout Ag Awareness Day. Other notable attendees include: Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Farm & Food Coalition, and Minnesota Pork  Producers Association. I hear there is a petting zoo, games on Northrup Mall, and possibly some free food.

Third, University of Minnesota Students will be hosting the event and have been thoroughly enthusiastic about it. This is the exciting part of communications for me. A Facebook fan page has been created for this event, press releases have been written for outside news sources, television and radio commercials have been produced to generate attention, and follow-up news reports have been arranged.

Finally, a great deal of media attention can be attracted because of the speaker, Patrick Moore. He’s a big deal for environmentalists, and will hopefully be a big draw for the cause. If Patrick Moore can’t get people excited about Earth Day, I’m not sure who can (besides maybe Al Gore). There’s my spiel. I’m an agvocate (clearly), and I hope my readers realized I probably have a very biased and positive attitude toward agriculture. If I haven’t made that clear enough, check out my media alert for tomorrow:

When:  April 20, 2010

9 am – 4 pm exhibitors, giveaways and presentations

6 am is set-up

Where: University of Minnesota

Northrop Plaza, Minneapolis Campus

Who: Ag Students doing Ag Awareness Day with all Greek U of M organizations and outside agriculture groups. Patrick Moore will be speaking.

What: The University of Minnesota will host the 40 Annual Earth Day with 13 agriculturally supporting groups at Northrop Plaza. There will be a panel of speakers, each talking about his or her industry. The best of the best in agriculture will be present. Environmentally friendly handouts will be supplied by many of the groups present.

Farming 101

As a city girl in college and a townie growing up, I’ve always been a fan of farming, but never actually a farm girl. I’d like to take this time to provide a guide to farming for myself, for when Chad Greenway and I runaway to his South Dakota farm. I realize I’m a newbie at this, so please comment and correct any additional steps I may miss.

Step 1: Acquire access to a sizable amount of land, preferably large enough to make a decent amount of money from the things that grow on the land. It helps if there are no trees or other large objects such as lakes or rivers over a large portion of the land. Winter or spring is a good time to do this.

Step 2: Purchase hefty equipment that will help you stir up the land enough to drop seeds easily into the land. This is why very little objects on the land is desirable, it’s best not to send your recently purchases equipment into water or head on at a tree.

 

Step 3: Decide what kind of seeds you would like to grow, whether that is beets, corn, soybeans, alfalfa, or other such plants appropriate to your climate, and purchase enough seeds for your land. I’m partial to corn, but my Chad is a soybean supporter, so this might cause some marital problems.

Step 4: Purchase yet another piece of hefty equipment that will help spread the seeds over your sizeable piece of land. It’s a good idea to do this in the spring when the ground has thawed, as to not ruin the new piece of equipment. You could opt for planting the seeds one-by-one, but let’s face it, would you rather walk bent-over for days on end? Or sit in a comfy chair and watch your assets (ha) grow?

Step 5: Wait and pray. This is a good time to have that lake or river I advised you earlier not to purchase when buying land. Nothing washes away the worries like a good swim. Some might put fertilizer on their plants, or detassle any corn, but that takes all the risk and fun out of it. Why go to Las Vegas for some gambling when you could just stay at home with your plants and avoid fertilizer?

 
 

Step 6: Assuming your waiting, praying, and swimming worked, fall should bring about harvest time. This means your plants are mature enough to make some bank off of them. Now it’s time for yes, another big piece of equipment. It’s time to take the plants out of the field and into a place that can make you some money!

Step 7: After harvesting all of your plants, take them to a co-op or other such organization to sell and make some money off of all your hard work!

Step 8: Repeat.

Bailout My Blog

My blogger career has barely launched and yet I seem to be failing at it. In order to save my blogging job in this dreadful recession, I’ve decided to try a new tactic, and will now do a weekly blog on a delectable food item. Everyone wants to read about Ford, right? Save my blog! My bailout plan was inspired by several of my biggest inspirations. My first and most prominent inspiration is agriculture, more specifically, corn farming. For those of you who do not know, I am an agriculture and communications major, so this new angle on blogging will hopefully help me get a job in my field of study after I graduate. The “Corn Field” seems to be the area where I shine. My blog was surely failing because I was not including enough about corn farming.

Nafaka: Ag Superfan!

My second biggest inspiration is Martha Stewart. Martha has been making home life more fabulous as long as I can remember. She makes fabulous things and then puts them on display for the world to enjoy. Martha has been on my list of idols right up there with Mother Theresa since I’ve known the definition of idol. She truly is an inspiration to all females everywhere.

The third inspiration I had for my bailout plan came from an unorthodox source, another blogger. The Pioneer Woman http://thepioneerworman.com has clearly made her way in the world (at least in recent years) through blogging. The Pioneer Woman photographs each step of a cooking process, and places this step-by-step process on her blog. This is precisely what I am going to do in my new, improved blog. I will make various corn recipes (hopefully I can find most from Martha) and blog about each step of the food making process.

As an added bonus, this will prepare me for being the perfect housewife for Chad Greenway . He might even ask me to be his girlfriend after he reads a few of my posts! If he doesn’t read my blogs, maybe I’ll get big enough and Martha-like enough that she’ll ask me on her daily show! Or maybe—ok, so I might be getting a little ahead of myself, but I have high expectations for this new angle. Stay tuned for corn-inspired recipes.

Chad Greenway, if you’re out there, please please please read my blog, and notice what a great cook I am!

Always keep growing,

Nafaka

New Year’s Resolution

It’s time I make some New Year’s Resolutions. The idea for my 2009 New Year’s Resolution was born at a wedding. One of my closest friends from high school was married on New Year’s Day. Her union started me to thinking I need to find my one true love. My 22 years of careful observation of the opposite sex has brought me to the conclusion that Chad Greenway http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=9603, a football player for the Minnesota Vikings, is to be my future hubby. These things take time, which is why my New Year’s Resolution is to spend an entire day with Chad Greenway. I feel that one full day is necessary (versus an hour or two) to make Chad fall in love with me.

I know he has a wife, and I’m sure she’s very nice, but Chad and I have a lot in common. We both have a passion for agriculture and renewable fuels, we both grew up in relatively small towns, and we both now live in larger Minnesota cities. Also, there is the overwhelming fact that we are both extremely attractive. All of these reasons of why Chad and I would be perfect for each other are why my New Year’s Resolution is to spend a day with Chad Greenway.

Free at Last, Free at Last

This is my first full week free of finals http://www.stthomas.edu and novel-length papers. To recognize this momentous occasion, I would like to offer a sampling of knowledge that I have acquired from this semester.

I learned what convention means in regard to theater:

1. the expected and accepted

2. EX. As a character dies on stage, the audience believes the character died within the boundaries of the play. The audience knows that the actor of the character that died in the play will be alive after the play ends, but it’s a convention of theater that the character will not start breathing again during the remainder of the play.

There are conventions applicable to other areas of performance art as well. During a show at Sea World, it is understood that Flipper will “talk” and “dance;” it is to be expected. A convention of ballet is that a story will be told through movement, not words. Well, I think you get the concept of convention. More sampling of knowledge to come.