According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are around 40,000 homeless veterans in our country. In Lapeer, Michigan, Beck’s customer and Vietnam veteran, Pat Bell, is working to reduce that number by operating a homeless shelter on one of his farms.
The shelter is a relatively new effort for Pat, but multiple life experiences over the years lead him on this journey. It all started when Pat served in the Marines during the Vietnam War.
Categories: Family and Farming
Tags: Beck's Blog, Beck's Hybrids, family and farming, Chelsea O'Brien, Michigan Farmer, Farmer Veteran, Veteran's Day, Helping Homeless Veterans, Pat Bell, Caroline House
Between forage crops, almonds and dairy, Larry Haworth has been farming in California all of his life. But he knows if history had played out just a little differently, he may not have had this opportunity.
Categories: Why I Farm, Why I Farm Roadtrip
Tags: Beck's Blog, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, dairy, Natalina Sents, Why I Farm Roadtrip, Larry Haworth, Dutra Farms, California, almonds
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.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Thanksgiving, family and farming, Chelsea O'Brien, Pumpkin Pan Pie, Better Homes and Gardens, Giving Thanks, Gathering Round
If you follow our Why I Farm social media pages, you may have seen some new photos and blogs featuring the unique stories of farmers. We are excited to announce that those photos are just the beginning of a new initiative in our continuing effort to honor the American farmer through our Why I Farm Movement.
When our former Beck's intern, Natalina Sents moved the gold tassel on her graduation cap to become an Iowa State University graduate, she wasn’t headed for a full-time job. She was embarking on the journey of a lifetime. Natalina is setting out on the Why I Farm Roadtrip – a year-long, 50 state tour documenting agriculture’s diversity and revealing the untold stories of America’s farmers.
Categories: Why I Farm
Tags: Beck's Blog, Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, Why I Farm movement, Honoring Farmers, Chelsea O'Brien, Natalina Sents, Beck's Why I Farm Movement, Why I Farm Roadtrip, interviewing farmers
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...
Tags: Beck's Blog, farming, family and farming, Mother's Day, Chelsea O'Brien, dinner rolls, yeast rolls, hot rolls, sourdough rolls, Mother's Day recipes, farm moms, Labor of Love
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!
Tags: Beck's Blog, farming, family and farming, Taste of Home, Chelsea O'Brien, Super Bowl recipes, Farmhouse BBQ Muffins, cooking with kids, party snacks, quick weeknight dinners
What if someone asked you, "what is your definition of farming?" What would your answer be? Could you define it? Sometimes the definition of farming is hard to put into words. And it's going to mean something different to each of us. But that is what makes it special. While definitions may differ, the end goal is the same - helping to feed others.
Today, we'd like to share a poem that an 11-year-old farm girl wrote one Saturday afternoon, all on her own.
Tags: Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, Why I Farm Behind the Movement, Chelsea O'Brien, Megan Ashby, The definition of farming, farm poems
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?
Tags: Beck's Blog, AgTalk, family and farming, family farming, Chelsea O'Brien, New Year's Resolutions, Goals for 2016, Farm Goals, Family Goals, New Year's Goals
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.
Tags: Beck's Blog, AgTalk, family and farming, family farming, Chelsea O'Brien, Honoring Veterans, Thank You Veterans, Veterans Day 2015
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.
Tags: Beck's Blog, AgTalk, family and farming, family farming, Chelsea O'Brien, Fall Farming Activities, Cheeseburger Soup, Easy Apple Pie Bites, Harvest Quotes, Harvest Meals, THERMOcafe
From bringing back fond memories of growing up on the farm, inspiring farmers to continue their noble work even in the face of opposition, or helping show consumers what farmers are really like on today’s farms, the Why I Farm Movement is truly making an impact. One thing that also makes a big impact is music. There’s something special about hearing a story through song that really resonates with people. Through our partnership with The Henningsens, we have had the opportunity to expand our impact even further through the Why I Farm song and music video.
In my first Behind the Movement post as your “assistant tour guide”, I shared about the release of the “Why I Farm” song and introduced you to The Henningsens and their farm. Now that the music video has been released, I am excited to give you a behind the scenes look at what it was like to make a real life music video.
Tags: Why I Farm, Beck's Hybrids, Why I Farm Behind the Movement, The Henningsens, The Henningsens Why I Farm, Why I Farm Music Video, Mustard Seed Gardens
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.
Categories: Why I Farm, Family and Farming
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!
Tags: Beck's Blog, family and farming, family farming, Chelsea O'Brien, farm life, Planting Season, Be Safe During Planting Season, Eat Well During Planting Season
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.
Tags: Beck's Hybrids, John Deere, Sonny Beck, National Ag Week, John Deere 4430, Tractor Restoration, National Ag Day, 1974 John Deere 4430
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.
Tags: Beck's Hybrids Blog, Glendia Beck, recipes, family and farming, family farming, Chelsea O'Brien, From Glendia's Kitchen, Food Prepping, Meal Planning, Farm Recipes, Winter Recipes, Soups, Winter Work on the Farm, Hearty Chicken Cheese Soup
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.
Tags: Beck's Blog, recipes, family and farming, family traditions, Christmas Traditions, Christmas Tree, Egg Nog, St. Nick's Day, Red Velvet Cake, Traditions on the farm, American Culture, New Year's Day
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.
Tags: family and farming, Hayden Schaumburg, Watseka IL, Ag Family, Hayden Strong, Prayers for Hayden, Ryan Markley, Beck's family, Harvest for Hayden
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!
Tags: Beck's Blog, harvest, family and farming, Chelsea O'Brien, Fall Decorations, Making Things by Hand, Fall Wreath, Pinterest Projects, Not Always Pinterest Perfect, Pumpkins
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.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Farm Progress Show, family and farming, family farm, Chelsea O'Brien, Farmhouse recipes, Pork Chop Noodle Soup, Recipe Re-Do, Ole Fashioned Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup
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.
Tags: Beck's Blog, Beck's Hybrids, 4-H, family and farming, family farm, 4-H Ribbons, 4-H Ribbon Wreath, Beck's Crafts, toll-house chocolate chip cookies, repurposing, recycling