Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well, We Moved

Thanks to a ton of people, we're living in our home. I don't take that word for granted, either. The other place was where we lived. This is our home.

I guess this place has always been home to me. I lived in a house and an apartment in Seward, but I always came here to work on the weekends and during the summer. Even after I moved into a house east of Worms and my parents moved out of this house, it was always home. It's kind of weird sleeping in this house knowing that I'm the head of the household, but it's not a bad weird. I never really loved the house that Shay and I lived in, and neither did she. The dogs love it here, too, and that counts for something with Shay and I. I've been smiling a lot walking around this place the last few days. It's not lost on me that I went to school to be a teacher, then a pastor, and now I'm living on the same farm that I've lived on for 24 of my 26 years. God knows the desires of our hearts, even if we try to run from them or look for something else.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm Getting Back to Farming

Well, now that we're in the process of moving, my mind is headed towards spring. Our soybean seed was delivered last week, the corn is coming next Tuesday, and I had a growers meeting for some high amylose corn this morning. High amylose corn is a specialty corn that is used in a lot of the food you eat, but is also used in plastics and adhesives.

It's boring, but it's my life (If you got this reference, you are my kind of people. If not, I still like you).

I'll write more about high amylose corn at another time. Honestly, I've never grown it before, so you'll be with me for the learning curve. It's kind of a long story, but this stuff used to be grown around Indianapolis. They're moving production this-a-way. Dad and I were asked to grow some, so he's growing 50 acres, and I'm going to grow 40.

This is all getting to my point.

High amylose corn, at present, is only available in conventional form. This, of course, means we can't use Roundup to control weeds. The problem with this is that the company that does our spraying sprays a lot of Roundup. When you spray crops that are not Roundup Ready, you need to be dang sure you got all of it out of your tank, otherwise you risk killing your crop.

So, I'm on the lookout for a sprayer. Probably something like this:

I've been wanting one for a few years, but didn't know if we would have time to spray. I'm going to have to make time now, because this high amylose corn is too valuable to risk losing due to someone not taking time to properly clean out their tank. Now, if the corn dies because it got sprayed with something it shouldn't have, it's my fault. If I get one bought anytime soon, I'll post some pictures.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How Can You Hate Relgion and Love Jesus?

I'm fired up. I'm referring to this video that is spreading like wildfire all over Facebook: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

Now, I'm not a very smart dude, but I did learn how to use a dictionary in college. So please bear with me a little bit here.

The definition of religion:

a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
the practice of religious  beliefs; ritual observance of faith.

After reading that, would you not agree that when you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, there are others that believe the exact same thing? Therefore, you are part of a religion. Jesus says in Matthew 18:20 "For where 2 or 3 gather in my name, there am I with them." That would be a body of persons, right? I think I'm making a little bit of sense here. The guy in the video also rails against the church. What's the definition of church?

a building for public Christian worship.
public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly.
( sometimes initial capital letter ) the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom.
( sometimes initial capital letter ) any division of this body professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a Christian denomination: the Methodist Church.
that part of the whole Christian body, or of a particular denomination, belonging to the same city, country, nation, etc.

The whole body of Christian believers? So... people that believe in this religion we call Christianity are also a part of the Christian church. That makes sense. But church is a man made thing, right? Wrong. In Matthew, Jesus asks the disciples who people say He is. Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, others Jeremiah. Then Peter pipes up: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it." (Matthew 16:16-18)

Did you see verse 18? Jesus tells Peter he will build his CHURCH on him. This was ordained by Jesus, not man. 

It seems to me that this guy had a problem with a church (small c. Big c Church is the Christian Church - the whole body of Christian believers). I'm sorry about that, but dude, where's the forgiveness? And what does being Republican have to do with anything? I'm a Christian, and I vote (mostly) Republican because I am free in God's grace to make that decision. 

I'm not blind and think that "religion" and the Church are perfect, but hey, we live in a fallen world. Nobody can be perfect. You will never find a congregation or denomination that is perfect, because they can't exist, because of sin. You will never, ever, ever, as long as you live, get along with everyone in your church. But you gotta love 'em, and you gotta forgive 'em, because Jesus tells us to.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Concept of "Corporate" Farms

This is an issue that has been festering inside of me lately - farmers being labeled as "corporate" farmers. It seems to me that this has become a bad word. Instead of saying "a**hole" farmers, or "d*mn" farmers, people use the term "corporate."

What does that word even mean to the people that use it? Do they see farmers as people that sit around in suits while their poorly paid workers do everything? Or do they see us as people that get bailed out by subsidy payments? Maybe as lunatics that only care about making money, and would do anything necessary to make that happen? That might be true in a few cases, but I'm not aware of any in my neighborhood.

My parents farm around 1,200 acres. Their farm is incorporated. If you know my parents, do you think that they are evil people? Why did my parents, and lots of other farmers, incorporate, you wonder?

Well, lots of reasons.

Protection - If a farmer isn't incorporated, and for some reason is involved in an accident (car runs into a tractor is a good example), the other person involved in that accident can come after anything the farmer owns, including his home, personal vehicles, etc. With a corporation, that person can only come after what the corporation owns, which would most likely be equipment and land. Yes, it would be terrible to lose those things, but at least you would still have a house to live in. If you were not incorporated, in this example, you could lose everything that you own to settle, which could leave you and your family scrambling for housing.

Passing on the farm - Being incorporated makes it much easier to pass land from one generation of the family to the next. A son can buy land and equipment much easier from the corporation than he might from his sisters that live 2 states away and have not been on the farm since last Christmas. It is a way for parents to ensure that their land will stay with their child that wants to continue to work it, instead of seeing their children squabble over it while settling the estate. If a son wanted to buy out 3 or 4 siblings after their parents died, the taxes might be so high that it wouldn't be feasible. In a corporation, that son can buy shares, making the tax burden a lot lighter on everyone involved.

Tax breaks - Incorporating also offers tax incentives for farmers. Why wouldn't we want to save money on taxes? Everyone else wants to pay the least amount of taxes possible - we aren't any different.

Another thing I'd like to point out is that almost every business that you work with is most likely incorporated - the bank, the gas station, the grocery store, the dentist, the doctor, etc. You don't get your teeth cleaned by a "corporate dentist" do you?

Your food comes from a farmer, not some evil entity. A farm corporation usually involves family members - parents and children, brothers, uncles, nephews, nieces, etc. According to the USDA, the average farm size in 2010 was 418 acres. In 2007, there were 2,205,000 farms in the U.S. Of those farms, only 96,000 were incorporated. Here is a chart that breaks down the different types of farms and how many there were in 2007: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0829.pdf

Here's another source of some of my info: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0826.pdf

And if you really want to wade through all of this, here is where you can find all kinds of charts and statistics: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/agriculture.html

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Good Reminder in the Off-Season

This is all kind of common sense stuff when it comes to planting corn, but I always like reading these kinds of articles. It's like shooting a basketball - the more you practice and study it, the better you get. So, for all of you non-farming types, go ahead and read this and ask me anything that comes to mind, no matter how "dumb" you think it is. And for you farming types, it's not too early to start thinking about this stuff. April will be here before we know it.


Steamboat Springs was awesome. Shay took a ton of pictures and when I get a chance, I'll post some of them. Maybe later tonight or tomorrow sometime. MusicFest was unreal. There was so much music I thought my head might explode. The musicians walked down the same halls in the hotel as the fans. Anyway. That's for another post. Later gators.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Headed to Steamboat Springs

For MusicFest. Shay is awesome and got tickets for my birthday. We're going with JJ and Kelli, so it'll be a ton of fun. Shay is making me ski... I've never gone before, so I'm a little nervous about it.

Anyway, there are going to be 40 bands at MusicFest. If I had to pick one guy to see, it would be Chris Knight. When I was writing a lot of poetry, he was a big influence on how I used language and details. Those of you that have read a lot of my poetry will understand what I'm talking about if you watch these videos:

We'll be back Monday night. I'm taking my computer, so I might try to blog if I have enough time between bands, sleeping, eating and drinking an adult beverage or two.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

House Update.

So. It's been about a year and a half since I last posted. I just kind of stopped and never really got back into the swing of it. I've been asked by multiple people not to quit blogging, so here I am. And here are a ton of pictures.

This is... a room. My parents used it as an office. I'm going to put my guitars, records, etc. in here. It's gray or blue, depending on the lighting. I'm going to finish it with white trim. Eventually.

These are some really old 1"x6" boards I found in the little barn. I found out a good family friend has a planer, so I'm going to run them through that and use them for some of my trim:

This is some backsplash that Shay and her parents put up yesterday. Looks pretty good, I think:

Dad and I put up drywall in the living room:

This is an addition Dad built when I was a kid. It was always a part of the living room when I was growing up, and probably will be again, but for now, it's going to be my office. We painted it a maroonish/brownish color:

I finally finished the accent wall in our bedroom:

We attempted to sand down the floor in the kitchen, but the tar paper junk from the old linoleum was too thick. I think Shay's dad Tom could've sanded for 47 years and not gotten much done, so we made the executive decision to put new flooring in. Went to Menards to get an idea of what we could get for "cheap" and found some 3/4" Oak hardwood on sale:

Finished the bathroom today. Two coats of primer, two of paint, painted the trim, new flooring, new toilet. Well, not finished - I need to put the new showerhead in:

Thanks a bunch go out to Dad. He's helped a lot so far, and I will rely on his expertise again in the near future. Thanks also to Shay's parents, Tom and Julie, for the help the last few days. And thanks to Shay, for not freaking out too much at how much everything costs.