One week ago, my office went “back to Mac.” I’ve been known to get a little cranky when computers aren’t working, so this transition was anticipated with some stress.  Enough people have asked me on Twitter and Facebook about the PC to Apple switch that I thought it was worth a post. And, I speak a lot about moving mindsets up the technology ladder, so I didn’t want to be a hypocrite because my mind was definitely stretched in uncomfortable ways through this. However, I’m happy to report that we have a much more efficient office, streamlined system and greater understanding that technology really should be in the background when operating properly. (more…)

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In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing a note penned for our young child…

Each night I’m home, I lay my hand on your sweet cheek and send up prayers of thanksgiving for you. It’s those little moments I miss most when I’m traveling, such as standing next to your bed and the resulting peace. (more…)

My week started on with giving a workshop on social media a women’s leadership program in North Carolina and ended with a keynote to encourage ladies to celebrate agriculture in central Kansas. Hanging out with other women rarely happens in my work as a professional agricultural speaker, so I enjoyed some girl time.  A common denominator was shoes (of course!); in North Carolina we joked about one woman with 40 shoes in her car and in Kansas, we switched shoes (literally). (more…)

“You can change the world with every bite.” is the closing line of Food, Inc. Rather than getting into the debate around this sensationalized “opiniontary” – I’ll just suffice it to say that it doesn’t fairly represent an incredibly complex agriculture system. However, the last line (set to “This Land is Your Land” music and lovely graphics that clearly show the money poured into the film) caught my attention.  I’m sure it resonated with many viewers who are wondering about WHO is behind their food. (more…)

Guest blogger Scott Ginsberg "That Guy with the Nametag"

As a professional speaker, I’m blessed with an array of colleagues who broaden my perspective, offer great business ideas – and yes, provide inspiration while keeping me grounded. One of those colleagues has worn a nametag for more than 3,450 days.  His name is Scott Ginsberg – and he’s so committed to his cause, he even has his nametag tattooed on to his chest. Scott is one of a few people who writes in a way that touches both the heart and mind – it’s my honor to have his guest post in two-part series this week. I think you’ll find his lessons on infection apply to our work in agriculture – and no vaccines are needed! (more…)

When I was about six, I was charged with sweeping our calf barn and then tasked with other chores as I grew. I quickly learned that leveraging my strengths, creatively utilizing all the tools and working together would result in the most work getting done.  Our cows gave me all sorts of lessons in leveraging my fairly small frame against 2000 pounds, though they didn’t always necessarily appreciate my creative use of tools. In the fields, I discovered more stones would get picked in our fields when there was more than just my two hands. (more…)

One year ago I was contemplating the idea of agriculture folks joining  a conversation on Twitter, similar to what I had seen in action on “#journchat.” I discussed the idea with some friends in the business, tried to evaluate how such a conversation could connect people around the food plate and wondered if it really was something ag people would “do.”  ‘No risk, no reward’ is a personal philosophy, so on April 6, 2009, I announced we were going to try out a moderated streaming conversation known as “#AgChat” on Twitter on April 7, 2009. (more…)