You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

Okay, so I may be a little older than what most people think of for adoption but in this case the adoption means I’ve been chosen by the Worthington Middle School students through Provider Pals. This program is a cultural exchange between those in agriculture and inner-city students.

Provider Pals was started by Bruce Vincent, a logger from Montana as a way for urban and rural students to exchange information and gain a better understanding of their common ground and their differences. For more information on Provider Pals you can visit their website at

The MN Pork Board has sponsored 4 pork producers to be part of this program, of which I and my daughter Beth are fortunate enough to be able to participate. Over the next few months we’ll be exchanging information on ourselves and the activities that happen on our farm with these students. I am looking forward to the students’ questions and helping them learn more about life on a hog and grain farm. It will be important not just to show them what’s different, but what we have in co


As farmer’s many of our daily tasks require hard work and some ingenuity to get the job done. In many cases we “make do” with what we have. But when it comes to educating our kids, we shouldn’t have to settle. After all, we’re preparing the next generation of leaders.

Hat’s off to Monsanto for recognizing the financial need that many rural schools have, especially when it comes to math and science programs. Our school district, USC in Wells MN was fortunate enough to secure a $25,000 grant from Monsanto as part of their America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program. This money was used to buy microscopes and other supplies that are important to our children’s education.

Monsanto’s business is built on farmers and they recognized the need to contribute back to those customers, especially when it comes to educating youth. I’d like to thank Monsanto for their generosity and for recognizing the needs we have in rural America. It’s easy to get caught up in all that’s wrong with today’s youth. It’s even more important to recognize what’s right with today’s youth and provide the resources they need to become future leaders.

For more specific information on Monsanto’s program visit their website at  The second video highlights the USC school district.

As farmers we know that growth of plants, animal or kids doesn’t just happen. It requires work, cultivation and nourishment. Fortunately there are others who recognize the value of what we do and are willing to help.

Lori has been doing some heavy lifting on this blog for a while, so I thought I would step in.

At this time last year, I was feeling pretty good about my running accomplishments. I had completed a big year for mileage (1500.5) and had a Boston qualifying run at Grandma’s, which was the first running event sponsored by the Minnesota Pork Board.

Fast forward to closing out 2011. I raced a half marathon in St Paul with a good enough time to get a nomination for MN Runner of the Year (I happened to Google my name). I raced Grandma’s 25 minutes faster than 2010, and was within 1:30 of my lifetime PR for 26.2 miles. I must have reached my running goals on that race, because it was tough to get inspired to train hard the rest of the summer.

Qualifying for Boston again was a true highlight, and I was able to register for the race on the first day. I also had lined up our flights and hotel rooms early, so we won’t scramble trying to get those nailed down. The only thing left to do was train.

Looking for a different challenge, I signed up for the Master Run Coach program, which follows training principles set down by Arthur Lydiard. Without going into details, a runner needs to have a large aerobic training base to add speed to as he gets closer to the race. I am finishing my base training this week, putting in about 70 miles. Wow.

One last thing. I ran 1785 miles in 2011, nearly 20% more. Most of that occurred in the months of November and December, when Boston training kicked in, and snow and ice were not problems like 2010.