Ella Goes to Work

16 Apr Ella Goes to Work | The Farm Paparazzi

Ella has been getting an introduction into what Mama and Daddy do – besides being her parents, of course.

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First, Ella got a crash course in magazine layout as I put together the Spring 2016 issue of CowCountry: The Official Magazine of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

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Ella decided InDesign and Photoshop weren’t that interesting.

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Then we took our first tractor ride with Daddy while he did some strip tilling. This was WAY more interesting. She loved looking at everything work and listening to the new sounds.

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We are so glad to be raising our daughter around farming. It’s a wonderful lifestyle and an important part of our world’s economy. Around 97 percent of American farms are family owned and we’re proud to be one of those families.

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God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

 

Introducing Rozella

7 Feb

Biirth Announcement_Page_1Biirth Announcement_Page_2

Photography by Leah Yetter (check out her Uprooted Magnolia blog: https://leahyetter.wordpress.com/)

Brewery Tour: Where Our Malt Barley Turns into Beer

22 Dec

 

Malt Barley Harvest 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Malt barley harvest on T&L Farms

Last summer we arranged a tour of the MillerCoors brewery in Golden, Colo. As contracted malt barley growers, we got the special treatment.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Our tour group consisted of Tyler and I, my mom Amy, dad Steve, brother Ben, Tyler’s mom Kim, her husband Bill, and Tyler’s Great Uncle Harry, and Great Aunt Veletia. Veletia put together a detailed, very informative slideshow of the trip, the company’s history, and the brewing process here. It’s a fun read with great photos!

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

During Prohibition, the company diversified by making ceramics and other malted products.

We learned a lot about how beer is brewed in mass quantity. It was fun to see the final leg in our barley’s existence. Now I’ve seen it go from field to cup!

Malt Barley Harvest 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Barley growing on T&L Farms

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

I’d never seen hops in person before. Have you? They had it growing outside the brewery, and had some of it to touch on the way into the facility.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

We saw what the barley goes through before other ingredients are added.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Steeping tanks. The barley is soaked twice before it is germinated.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Germinated barley. This must be done before the grain is suitable for brewing.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Kilning or roasting is done to get the barley just right for different types of beer.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

Kilning or roasting before the barley is sent to the brewing process.

This was the best smelling place. The barley goes through the brewing process where other ingredients are introduced. Veletia’s slideshow really has a great explanation of the details.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

The finished beer goes through quality control. It’s all more scientific than I ever imagined beer brewing would entail.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

We also got to see the product being packaged on site. Look at that sea of cans.

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

And, of course, we got to taste test some of the product. Was a fun time had by all!

MillerCoors Tour | The Farm Paparazzi

 

“Let a man walk ten miles steadily on a hot summer’s day along a dusty English road, and he will soon discover why beer was invented.” – Gilbert K Chesterton.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. – Hebrews 10:25

 

Learning About Corn

14 Dec

Corn can sound like such a mundane topic, but its genetic evolution and impact on the world around us is actually quite fascinating! Recently, my farmer husband ran across two pretty interesting pieces of learning material about corn.

The first is Discovery Channel’s How Stuff Works episode on corn.

It’s about 43 minutes long, so hunker down with a bowl of popcorn and watch this fun overview of the crop and how it affects the world.

The second is from the University of Utah and describes the evolution of corn genetics from a primitive plant to a domesticated crop.

So, now that I’ve completely “nerded out” on you, hopefully you’ll find some of the information as interesting as we did! And, always remember, if you want to know about how corn is grown, be sure to talk to a farmer near you. They are the professionals on the ground, after all.

Mother Nature's Pop Science Guide to Corn [Infographic]

God Bless You and American Agriculture,

Liz

Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge. – Proverbs 18:15 (NLT)

Lessons Learned from a Novice Canner

7 Dec

10 Canning Tips

Before we had a garden, I never canned anything. It looked scary and complicated and I wasn’t going to go there. But, once we planted our first garden in 2014, it became quickly apparent that my “waste-not, want-not ways” would force me to take on some canning. Thankfully I had my farm wife mentor, Melinda, on hand to help me and I got great advice and recipes from my Aunt Mary and Tyler’s Aunt Debby.

Tips from a Novice Canner

Now with two canning seasons under my belt, I can proudly say, I’ve become a canner! If you’re scared to get started, let me give you my best advice and encouragement. It really is wonderful, gives you a great sense of accomplishment, and saves you room in the freezer. And, it’s not as scary as it looks. I promise!

  1. Start small. One of the biggest mistakes I made was overwhelming myself with too many projects. Take on one recipe at a time and try doing a couple of batches at first. Don’t try to be like the woman down the street who has been canning for 50 years and can whip out 100 quarts of pickles in one afternoon. You’re a beginner and it’s okay to be proud of your 10 quarts of pickles!
  2. Get equipped.  Get all your materials and supplies ahead of time. Make sure to read the instructions/recipe thoroughly to make sure you have everything you’ll need. Nothing is more frustrating when you’re canning than to realize you are missing a key tool or ingredient while you’re in the middle of a batch.
  3. Read up on the general process. Most water-bath canning involves the same general steps. Familiarize yourself with the process so you feel comfortable and don’t miss a vital step.
  4. One jar at a time. When you are in the midst of canning, it’s so tempting to fill all the jars, and then check all the headspaces, then wipe all the rims, and then put on all the lids…BUT, that’s when you forget to do something important to one of the jars. Just suck it up and do one jar, then follow the same steps for the next jar.
  5. Seek expert advice. That woman down the street who has been canning for 50 years? Ask her if you can come over for an afternoon so she can show you how to do it. Most likely she’ll be thrilled to pass the tradition on to the next generation. And you won’t have to make 75 mistakes because she’s already made them and can tell you how to avoid the heartache. Be sure to offer to help her with something in return or bring her flowers to thank her!
  6. Do your research. There are lots of great resources out there. One of the best is your local/state Extension service. The University of Wyoming Extension service has a wonderful food preservation website. It is all specific to our climate and higher altitudes…which brings me to my next tip…
  7. Know your area. Canning is greatly affected by altitude, so be sure to do your due diligence in determining proper processing times for your region.
  8. Don’t get in a hurry. I was trying to do too much the first year and was distracted while carrying a batch of jars from the water-bath canner to the table for them to cool. Before I knew what happened, the entire batch was broken and splashed all over my garage floor. Don’t be like me. Take it easy and pay attention to what you’re doing.
  9. Safety first. You’re working with glass, hot liquids, and high pressure if you’re pressure canning. And, if you’re like me, you’re using a nifty propane camp stove so you don’t ruin your glass cooktop and you can keep the heat in the garage. All of these things can cause injury. It’s not scary if you’re careful and paying attention to what you’re doing. Just be aware that you can singe your eyelashes on the propane stove or burn your hand with hot water. Not that I’ve done either of those things.
  10. It’s a lot of work. But, it’s worth it! I always heard people talk about canning being a lot of work. There’s a reason they say that. It is a lot of work! It’s probably smart to team up if you have friends or family who like to can, but also know that if you go it alone, you can handle it. And when you are pulling home-canned peaches, pickles and salsa from your pantry all winter long, the great taste and sense of pride will make that sore back, stiff neck and achy feet just a distant memory.

Holler if you have questions. I might have an answer, or most likely, I might know someone else with an answer. Now go forth and can!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. – Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)

Showered with Love

29 Nov
Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Me with my Grandma Marcy’s Better Homes & Garden’s Baby Book from 1951. Photography by Stephanie Russell at Cowgirl Graphics | http://www.cowgirlgraphics.com/

As of tomorrow, I am officially four weeks away from my due date. When you first get pregnant, 40 weeks sounds so far away. Now it’s nearly here and I am excited/terrified/elated/apprehensive/insert emotion here. Basically, one moment I feel an overwhelming sense of love and anticipation for Sweet Pea’s arrival and the next moment I just feel overwhelmed. But, I think that’s pretty normal. Right?…Right?

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Photography by Stephanie Russell at Cowgirl Graphics | http://www.cowgirlgraphics.com/

Well, even if I’m not normal, I guess I’ll forge on ahead. I’m rarely normal anyway.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Clay doesn’t quite know it, but his world is about to be turned upside down by a tiny, pink baby girl. Photography by Stephanie Russell at Cowgirl Graphics | http://www.cowgirlgraphics.com/

One thing’s for sure, I’m feeling much more prepared for Baby Girl Lauck’s arrival after we were showered by friends and family this month. And when I say showered, I mean it was an absolute downpour of love, support, encouragement and generosity!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

My mother-in-law borrowed this vintage baby buggy and decorated it with Tyler and I’s baby blankets. It held gifts and was inspired by the antique doctor’s buggy we had at our wedding to hold gifts.

The first shower in Wheatland was hosted by my incredible in-laws. Tyler’s mom, Kim and sisters Sunni and Kristny poured the most amazing amount of love and effort into making the day beautiful and special. Just look at the fun details they put together for the Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice theme!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

 

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

It was also an incredible turnout! A lot of Tyler’s family lives in Wheatland, so we had family, friends, church family, and P.E.O. Sisters form a crowd of around 55+ people. Talk about a flood of support!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

The first table to sort the sprinkles by color won a prize!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

We had to call in reinforcements to haul all the adorable gifts home. We thank God for all these amazing people in our lives and are so grateful He is allowing our daughter to be born surrounded by such wonderful spirits.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Mom had her hands full writing down all the adorable gifts.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Mom, Kim, Me, Sunni and niece Skye.

While we girls were having fun at the shower, my dad and Tyler were busy at home with the nursery “to-do” list I left. Aren’t I a good cruise director? I had expected only a few things to be checked off, but when I arrived home, they’d gotten nearly everything done on the list! Grandpa and Dad get a gold star for sure.

The very next weekend my wonderful Aunt Mary and friend Cheri hosted a shower in Colorado where a lot of my family lives. It was a much smaller gathering, but was just as special. We got to enjoy a Peter Rabbit Storybook theme complete with bunnies everywhere and flower cupcakes. It was so precious and a great tribute to my favorite childhood pastime – reading!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

I was presented with some wonderful handmade treasures, as well as some practical gadgets and lots of really good advice. I respect these mother’s so much and soaked in all their wisdom.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

My Aunt Mary cross-stitched this blanket, as well as finished a quilt my great grandma had started. Including the wool rug she made, I’d say she was one busy woman and my daughter is one blessed girl!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Wonderful friends Kosha, Dell and Leanne with my Mom.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Cousin Emilie and Aunt Alisa look at the baby pictures from Tyler and I’s albums.

As if I weren’t spoiled enough, my amazing friend Kassi hopped on an airplane and flew from Missouri with an 18-month-old just to be at the shower. We’ve been State FFA Officers together, roommates, bridesmaids in each other’s weddings and now we get to share motherhood together. Our mutual friend Megan also was able to be there. Even though she lives in Omaha, Neb., she was in Denver for work and was able to come to the shower as well. Amazing!

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Nora put her seal of approval on the gifts.

Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

Nora, Kassi, Me and Megan.

I am so blown away by the love and generosity we’ve received throughout this whole pregnancy. We have people all over the country praying for us and sending us sweet gifts. It’s hard for me to express how truly thankful we are. Praise God for putting all of you wonderful family and friends in our lives!Showered with Love | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13-14

Halloween Merriment

2 Nov
Halloween Merriment | The Farm Paparazzi

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe here). I made homemade pumpkin puree for the first time this year and this was my maiden voyage using it. Super easy and turned out great!

By the time Oct. 31 rolls around, I’m not always in the mood for Halloween. Sometimes it just seems like more work at a time when we’re busy getting crops out. But, this year I got excited to dress up with my pregnant belly. Who knows if I’ll ever be pregnant during Halloween again? So, putting together a simple costume really got me in the spirit.

Halloween Merriment | The Farm Paparazzi

I bought a $5 orange shirt, some black felt and green pipe cleaners to dress up like a Jack-O-Lantern. The hat is the stem and the pipe cleaners are the vines. I used spray adhesive to attach the felt and at 32 weeks along, Little Girl Lauck filled out the pumpkin portion of the outfit quite nicely.

Halloween Merriment | The Farm Paparazzi

I also talked my husband into carving Jack-O-Lanterns with me. We’ve never done this together and we thought it was great fun! We raised the pumpkins in our garden (I had 34 in total!). I think the convincing factor for him was the promise of roasted pumpkin seeds. It’s the best part of carving pumpkins. Here’s the link to the recipe for Jalapeno Pumpkin Seeds and several other yummy looking options.

Halloween Merriment | The Farm Paparazzi

I got all geared up to give out candy. I get a kick out of seeing all the little costumes and since we live in town, we actually get quite a few trick-or-treaters.

Halloween Merriment | The Farm Paparazzi

We live in a community where most kids say thank you and are a delight to interact with. And they come up with some great costumes! My favorites were Punky Brewster and a Lego Block. Clay, however, was not amused by the constant doorbell ringing and parade of strangers in startling outfits at his door. It was a stressful night for him.

Halloween Merriment | The Farm Paparazzi

Did you pass out candy? Dress up? Hope it was a fun and safe day!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (NLT)

Frijoles!

1 Oct

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi
It’s bean harvest time! When you listen to farm reports, you’ll hear them talk about beans. Thems not our beans. Thems soybeans. We ain’t got no soybeans.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Okay, now that every English teacher I’ve ever had is crying tears of desperation, I’ll tell you that we raise dry edible beans. Mainly pinto beans. Yup, those beans you buy for your Chugwater Chili and your Mexican food.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

I love raising a crop that I can cook with. Corn is great, but I have to wait for the cows to turn it into nutritious, delicious beef. Malt barley is great, but I have to wait to drink that as beer. And right now, at 27 weeks pregnant, I’ll be waiting awhile before I can even do that.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

But pintos? Yes, those, I can cook up and eat in all their original glory. They are also fun to give away as gifts.

We harvest beans two ways. The first way is called direct cutting and is a more modern method. On center-pivot irrigated ground, we grow upright bean varieties. These plants grow taller than other varieties and we can run a flex-header through the field to combine.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

The header’s cutting bar actually flexes to contour with the ground, rather than staying rigid. This allows the head to move across the field and harvest the beans more effectively.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

We also have an air reel on the head that helps keep the shelled beans in the head once they’re cut.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

There’s more to growing beans for direct cutting, but you get the gist.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

The second method is the traditional method. On flood irrigated ground, we have to pull ditches in between the crop rows so the water can run down and irrigate the entire row. This creates mounds in the field that aren’t conducive to direct cutting. So we take our Pickett machine through the field first.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

This machine cuts the plants at the roots and a rod breaks partially cut roots and lifts the plants. Then the cut plants are pulled into a windrow behind the machine.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

This is done when the beans are mostly dry, but not completely dry, to prevent the bean pods from shattering during the cutting process. It helps to cut when the humidity is high and/or there is a dew.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Then the windrows are left to dry and a second pass is made with the combine to finish harvest.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

I’ve told you about the grain cart before, but in this harvest, we don’t run the cart. Beans are more fragile and apt to split the more they are handled, so the combine usually dumps directly onto semi trucks and the semis haul them to the beanery.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Our beans go to Kelly Bean in Torrington, Wyo. where they get sold all over the world and may end up on your dinner plate. Ole!

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

[Jesus said,] “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

 

Farmer Vacation

26 Sep

As a farming married couple, our vacations usually revolve around something ag related. One of my fondest memories of when we were dating was a road trip to pick up equipment in eastern Nebraska. I call it vacationing with a purpose.

Our latest trip, while not solely tied to agriculture, was for the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. (I blogged about that last time.). We were part of the agriculture contingent, so I think it fits our vacation modus operandi pretty well.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Participants during the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. mid September. Photo Courtesy of Governor Matt Mead’s Office.

Since both of us had been to Jackson several times, we skipped a lot of the regular attractions and sought out a couple sights we hadn’t seen before. While in this part of the world, you can literally stop every two minutes for a photo op, so you really have to pace yourself. It’s so gorgeous, but I didn’t go overboard with my paparazzi tendencies and was proud of myself for just soaking in God’s majesty.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mead Family Ranch

We, of course, saw the Tetons. It was a great time of year to visit because the leaves were starting to turn. Unfortunately, the West has had a horrible fire season, so the air was pretty smoky and limited the clarity of our views. Even with the haze, it is always incredible to be at the foot of these mountains.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

We also stopped to see the Moulton barn on Mormon Row. Probably one of the most photographed barns in the world, it is part of a series of homesteads settled in the 1890s. It’s inspiring to stand where these Pioneers once broke ground and endured back-breaking labor to survive.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Moulton Homestead on Mormon Row

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Tyler by the famous Moulton Barn

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Me in my pregnant glory (24 weeks, a.k.a. 6 months) with a pretty awesome backdrop.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

It wouldn’t be a true Farmer Vacation without us investigating their irrigation system. Water was still flowing through the homestead properties.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The 1,756,892 picture ever taken of the Moulton Barn. That’s an approximate figure.

We stopped in Moose, Wyo. (yes, Moose) for lunch and visited the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor’s Center. Named for the late Senator from Wyoming, this center features spectacular views and interactive displays. Our main reason for detouring over to Moose, was to find the penny-smashing machine for a friend who collects them. We thought it was a fun reason to visit a place we’d otherwise not bother with.

Then we headed through Grand Teton National Park. For you married folks out there, you know how road trips can go. One person wants to stop at all the cool sights. The other person is worried the stopping might get out of control and we’ll end up spending eternity in northern Wyoming. So, all this to say, I wanted to get a really pretty picture in Grand Teton NP. There was a slight disagreement about it. The photo never happened. The end.

We then took a loop through Yellowstone National Park. We came through the south entrance by Lewis Lake, headed west to Old Faithful, looped up through Madison, Norris and Canyon Village, headed back down along the Yellowstone River, and went out the east entrance. We had many a bison encounter, saw a myriad of geo-thermal activity, and enjoyed gorgeous sights.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Because this was mostly a driving tour of Jellystone, we didn’t see a lot of wildlife. However, the bison viewing was abundant.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Yellowstone’s version of a cattle drive.

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Old Faithful

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Gibbon Falls

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

One of the reasons for hazy pictures. It couldn’t possibly be my amateur photography skills.

One word of caution to you fellow travelers out there. Don’t assume you can find a hotel room along the way. We had planned to stay overnight in Cody, but after stopping at five hotels and checking a couple websites, it appeared that out of 30+ hotels in this town, the only one that had rooms available was the Cockroach Inn. So instead of delaying our drive with a nice meal at a good sit-down restaurant, we grabbed some quick McDonalds and hurried down the road to Thermopolis where a bed awaited these weary travelers.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

Hot Springs State Park

While I was none too happy about my vacation fare including fast food, the detour to Thermopolis ended up being a fun one. We took a little drive to see some of the farm ground outside of town. Then on our way back through town, we stopped at Hot Springs State Park. Tyler has fond memories of playing in the mineral pools as a kid. Although I’ve been through Thermop many a time, I’ve never actually stopped at the park, so it was long overdue.

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The Wyoming State Park website says, “Over colorful terraces along the Big Horn River at Thermopolis flows water from mineral hot springs. More than 8,000 gallons flow over the terrace every 24 hours at a constant temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.”

 

Farmer Vacation | The Farm Paparazzi

The Swinging Bridge over the Bighorn River. I’m afeared of heights, but I went across it anyway.

Then we headed back home so Tyler could get back to cutting and combining our beans, silage harvest, irrigating, etc. and I could get back to the 47 things on my to-do list.

After a long, stressful summer, it was so nice to get away for a few days. If it weren’t for Governor Mead’s invitation to the Summit, we probably wouldn’t have gone anywhere this summer/fall. I was desperate for one last trip together before Baby Girl Lauck arrives, and wasn’t looking forward to traveling in November when I’ll feel whale-esque. So hooray for vacationing with a purpose!

Where’d you go this summer?

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him. Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. – Proverbs 2:8-9 (NLT)

2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit

24 Sep

We were honored recently to attend the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit hosted by Governor Matt Mead. The experience was full of amazing information, incredible innovation, and brilliant, solution-oriented minds.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

The group of participants during the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit in Jackson, Wyo. mid September. This was the agriculture technology break out session. Photo Courtesy of Governor Matt Mead’s Office.

The Summit was hosted in Jackson, Wyo. and leaders and decision makers from across Wyoming and beyond gathered to discuss strides made in health care, agriculture, energy, and more. In his opening remarks, and throughout the event, Governor Mead emphasized his vision for Wyoming as a global technology leader. Not only is he interested in our major industries incorporating up-to-date technology, but he is pushing for technology to become an industry in and of itself in Wyoming.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

During the agriculture panel, we heard from Agricultural Retailers Association President Daren Coppock (podium), John Deere Director of On-Board Applications Ronald Zink (middle), and Simplot SmartFarm Technology Director Allan Fetters (right).

Tyler and I were invited as farmers who are successful at adapting technology in our operation. We were incredibly honored to attend and were amazed at what we experienced. We heard from brilliant minds working on remarkable solutions to real-world problems. We networked with interesting and genuine people. We found it humbling and encouraging meeting people outside of agriculture who were interested in our farm. And we were energized by positive, solution-seeking attitudes.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Wyoming Department of Agriculture Director Doug Miyamoto addresses the agriculture technology break out session.

Even though they are outside of our expertise, we found the discussions on health care and energy fascinating. Overall, we found the discussions full of similarities among all industries. We all face a fast-growing array of technologies and innovative processes. Likewise, we all are trying to adapt while weighing costs, addressing implementation challenges, and convincing stakeholders to adjust. No matter the challenges, though, there are incredible minds working on solutions to every problem!

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mike Griffen with Simplot Grower Solutions discusses the use of mapping to improve farm yields and to use inputs more effectively.

Tyler and I were very pleased at the emphasis placed on agriculture at the Summit. Technology is the key to sustaining farms and ranches and feeding the 9 billion people our world is estimated to hold by 2050. Some of the key ag technologies featured included:

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

John Deere’s Ronald Zink displays a John Deere 8245 R with GPS capability.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Simplot’s “EM sled”. This sled attaches to an ATV/UTV and the equipment sends electromagnetic pulses into the soil to produce maps, including soil type, elevation, and landscape. These maps are useful in variable rate application and seeding technology, where the user builds zones in their fields and applications are adjusted to meet specific conditions.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Simplot’s Allan Fetters displays an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone used in crop analysis.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Mike discusses this soil moisture probe, which can be used to evaluate water usage and help producers apply variable rate irrigation.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Maps created from satellite imaging which capture photosynthesis. This can indicate crop progress and yield potential.

These technologies allow producers opportunity for higher yields, increased profitability, and better environmental stewardship. Farmers are able to implement conservation practices for better soil health and reduced erosion. Water, fertilizer, chemical, and fuel are used more efficiently with fewer passes over the field and variable rate applications.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

The Mead Family Ranch in Jackson, Wyo. The Mead Family hosted the 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit guests for a dinner with incomparable views.

The 2015 Wyoming Global Tech Summit was a fantastic opportunity to network with innovative leaders, learn about exciting advancements in important industries, and to advocate for our industry as representatives of modern farming.

2015 Global Tech Summit | The Farm Paparazzi

Tyler and I with Governor Matt Mead (center). We were honored to be recognized by the Governor as successful adapters of technology on our farm.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

…We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. – Colossians 1:9-10 (NLT)

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