Beck's Blog

From Our Family Farm to Yours

23

Nov

2016

Family and Farming

Giving Thanks and Gathering 'Round

At this point every year, I find myself looking back and wondering where the time went. It always seems like the days go by faster and faster with each passing year, and the days from August to November just become a blur. It’s like summer ended and then all of a sudden, it’s Thanksgiving.

When life gets like this, I also find that it’s easy to focus on the next event or the next thing on the to-do list instead of taking enough time to reflect on the moments and blessings experienced throughout the year.

This is often most true during the days leading up to Thanksgiving, whether that be from trying to prepare the perfect meal or get the best Black Friday shopping deals.

I enjoy those things as much as the next person, but the real focus during this time should be two simple things - giving thanks and gathering ‘round.

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5

May

2016

Family and Farming

Mom's Dinner Rolls: A Labor of Love

This weekend many will be celebrating those special women we call, Mom. Mothers play a number of important roles within a family. For my mom it’s hug giver, cheerleader, chef, teacher, life coach, and role model. For many, it may also be early riser, caretaker, seamstress, tractor driver, farmer.

Recently I had the opportunity to interview two incredible farm moms, Marcia Gorrell of Marshall, Missouri and Cathy Ogg of Martin, Tennessee for my column in our CropTalk Newsletter...

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1

Feb

2016

Family and Farming

Farmhouse BBQ Muffins

Do you have any favorite “go-to” recipes? Whether it’s a busy weeknight, family get-together, or an impromptu party, there will always come a time when you’re going to need a quick, yet delicious recipe that everyone is going to love.

One of my favorite go-to recipes for times like these is Farmhouse BBQ Muffins. This recipe was originally published in Taste of Home Magazine in 1994 so my family has been making these, as well as our own variation of them, for years. In addition to being really good, this recipe is also very simple. My mom would let us help make them as kids so keep these in mind if you have a kiddo that likes to help in the kitchen!

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28

Dec

2015

Family and Farming

5 Family & Farming Goals for the New Year

During the week leading up to New Year’s Day (or sometimes the day of if I forget about them), I have always written down New Year’s resolutions. Most of the time, they are the same typical ones. I am going to eat healthier. I am going to exercise more or lose weight. I am going to save more money. I am going to make more time for hobbies.

And year after year, I swear I am going to stick to them. I do for a while, and some years are better than others. But usually I find myself making some of the same resolutions again the next year. Can anyone relate to this? Maybe it’s with resolutions for yourself, your family, or even your farm?

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11

Nov

2015

Family and Farming

Honoring Our Veterans

Air Force. Army. Coast Guard. Marine Corp. Navy. Because of the courageous men and women from these five branches of military, we as Americans, have the ability to live lives of freedom. For that, we are sincerely grateful. Many of our country’s veterans are also farmers or involved in agriculture. In honor of Veterans Day, we wanted to share the stories of Beck’s customers and employees that have served our country through the military, and at home on the farm.

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20

Oct

2015

Family and Farming

Fall Farming Activities - Cheeseburger Soup and Easy Apple Pie Bites

As I was browsing at a yard sale earlier this summer, I came across a picture frame with this quote embroidered inside. It was only about $2.00, but the message inside was worth millions...In a few short lines, it gives a perfect description of life on a farm during this time of year. As we all very well know, fall on the farm means being “on-the-go” a lot. It starts with the long days and nights of harvest, and then transitions into preparing the fields for winter. And on most farms, fall farming activities require help by the whole family. This means there isn’t a lot of time to be at home, or cook meals.

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12

Aug

2015

Why I Farm: Behind the Movement

Meet The Henningsens - Family and Heritage

Is there a special item in your family that has been passed down for generations? Maybe it’s the original document from when your family purchased the farm, an antique tractor, or a family Bible that, even with its tattered pages, still sits by your bedside. Two special items in my family are the original seed bags from my grandfather’s seed corn business, and my grandma’s cookbook that is filled with all the recipes she made for my grandpa and her twelve children on the farm. 

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4

May

2015

Family and Farming

#Plant15: Take Care of Your Fields, But Also Take Care of Yourself

Every year during planting season, it’s inevitable. Things get crazy. With only a small window to get all of your fields planted, things get rushed, planting becomes top priority, and other things tend to go out the window. I know these things are bound to happen. Farmers’ livelihoods depend on getting things off to a good start during planting, so I know how crucial this time is. However, I also want all of you to stay safe, healthy and happy during the craziness of planting. So as you take care of your fields this spring, don’t forget to also take care of yourself!

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16

Mar

2015

Family and Farming

Memories Restored: Sonny's First John Deere Tractor

Everything on the farm holds a memory. As a kid, it was the hayloft you used to play in with your siblings. The first tractor you learned to drive. The basketball goal on the side of the barn where you practiced your jump shot. The old truck you used to ride in with Dad when he had to go to town for parts. Or the creek you played in on warm summer afternoons when the day’s work was done. As adults, those memories turn to the first field you ever harvested. The first piece of land or equipment you bought on your own. Or maybe even the exact place you were working when your wife called to say it was time to go to the hospital…your first born child was about to arrive.

Years will go by, things will change, equipment will evolve, and farms will grow. But those items, those memories, are priceless. And it’s because of those special sentiments that we are known for keeping certain things around. Some may say they’re old and not worth it, but to us…they’re like gold. Because they were a part of our farm’s foundation.

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9

Feb

2015

Family and Farming

From Glendia's Kitchen - Hearty Chicken Cheese Soup

As we all very well know, work on the farm doesn’t stop in the winter time. From milking, feeding and taking care of animals, to hauling grain or repairing equipment, there is plenty of work to do both inside and outside…even in those frigid temperatures.

By the time you finally return to the house, I bet you’re ready for a nice hot meal to help you warm up. And nothing beats that cold winter chill better than a steaming hot bowl of soup.

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29

Dec

2014

Family and Farming

Family Traditions: New and Old

As I sit here and reflect on all of the wonderful food I ate and memories I made over the Christmas holiday, my mind quickly turns to the special family traditions we honor each year. Traditions are something I think are incredibly important to each family. To me, traditions are very special in the fact that they help carry on the lessons and values that my parents, grandparents and even great grandparents instilled and built their families upon.

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11

Nov

2014

Family and Farming

Watseka Ag Family Unites to Harvest for Hayden

In farming communities, everyone is family. When someone is in need of help, family members are there at their side in an instant.

Normally in my Family and Farming section of the Beck’s Blog I share recipes, crafts and family traditions. But this week, I’m sharing a different type of story because those two topics are exactly what it is about…family and farming. On Oct. 17, high school junior, Hayden Schaumburg, of Watseka, IL was tragically injured on the football field. He was blocking for another player when there was an intense collision. Hayden wasn’t able to move.

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6

Oct

2014

Family and Farming - Fall Decorations

Life Isn't Always "Pinterest Perfect"

The mornings are crisp, the leaves are turning, pumpkins are being picked, soups are being added back into menus, football games are played on Friday nights, and harvest has begun. Its official, fall is here.

I started to write that fall is one of my favorite seasons, but when I really get down to it, I enjoy all the seasons, just for various reasons. With fall, it’s the vibrant and warm colors that adorn the trees as the leaves turn, the cool but sunny days which are perfect for being outside, the fabulous apple and pumpkin dishes that start to fill my kitchen, and finally, using the elements of nature to create my fall decorations!

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8

Sep

2014

Family and Farming

Recipe Re-Do: 30-Minute Pork Chop Noodle Soup

Do you ever just have a craving for good ole’ fashion soup? This happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I had just wrapped up a month worth of traveling for Beck’s field shows by spending a week in Iowa at the Farm Progress Show. If you attended – or heard about it – the weather was less than desirable, to say the least. We had a good show despite the weather, but we were definitely thankful we came prepared with rain boots and rain coats.

We had a great time, but spending a week in the rain and mud (after traveling for most of the month) took its toll on my immune system and I ended up with a cold. So when I finally had time to make a meal at home, I thought soup would be the perfect thing.

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2

Aug

2014

Family and Farming

4-H Ribbon Recycling

With county 4-H fairs wrapping up and state fairs beginning, I started thinking about all of my old 4-H stuff that is still adorning my parent’s bookshelves in my old room. What will I ever do with it all?

I have collected countless mementos, pictures, and probably at least 100 ribbons over the 10 years I was in 4-H and I know they won’t let me keep it in that room forever. Come to think of it, my mom probably has it scoped out to be her dream sewing/crafting room once I finally downsize.

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7

Jul

2014

Family and Farming

From Glendia's Kitchen - Cooked Salad Dressing

This past weekend, we celebrated our country’s freedom and the honorable people that help protect it. It was great to see so many community festivals and posts online honoring our freedoms and being thankful for what we have as a country. To me, celebrations (no matter what the occasion) should always contain three important things: the reason you’re celebrating, those you love around you, and great food.

Continue reading to hear more about my 4th of July weekend and the good food from this week's blog, Glendia's Cooked Salad Dressing!

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26

May

2014

Family and Farming

Making Things By Hand - Homemade Applesauce

The other day I was making my usual grocery list, writing down the items without even thinking. Milk, coffee, creamer, cereal, bananas, veggies, meat, bread, cheese, granola bars, applesauce, and various other things.

The radio was playing in the background, and all of a sudden I hear this come across the airwaves…

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2

May

2014

Family and Farming

Field-Ready Breakfast: DIY Egg McMuffins

I don’t know about you, but I always end up rushing out the door in the morning and grabbing breakfast last minute. For you, this could be Starbucks on the way to the office, donuts at the gas station on the way to the field, or Pop Tarts from the vending machine at school. In my case, my go-to breakfast is usually instant oatmeal or cereal, and while they are pretty healthy, they don’t always keep me full all morning. Oatmeal every day also gets boring, so I like to switch it up.

While searching Pinterest, I found a recipe for “Copycat Egg McMuffins” by Monica of The Yummy Life blog and knew I just had to try them! I love Egg McMuffins from McDonald’s, but it isn’t always convenient to drive to their restaurant every morning, especially with my busy schedule. Plus, with planting season in full swing, I thought this would be a healthy and EASY option to help ensure everyone gets a good breakfast before going out into the fields.

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7

Apr

2014

Family and Farming

Back at Mama's: Colored Easter Flowers

Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year. The weather starts to warm up (which is even more appreciated this year), the sun stays out longer, and the Earth wakes up from its winter slumber and begins to come to life. I love seeing the grass and fields turning green, hearing the birds start to chirp, and watching the flowers begin to bloom.

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3

Mar

2014

Family and Farming

Recipe Re-Do: White Lasagna with Turkey and Spinach

We’re only two months in, but this year has already been very busy for me! Between traveling with Beck’s to the winter tradeshows, planning my upcoming wedding, and typical responsibilities, I haven’t had a lot of evenings or weekends at home. And when I am home, I haven’t had that much time, or energy for that matter, to plan what to make for dinner. Does anyone else ever feel like that?

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