Agriculture is Everywhere!

This past week, I have done a lot of traveling in Missouri and Illinois. Some of the car rides were long; however they gave me the opportunity to really pay attention to what I was going by. Of course, I passed cities, buildings, homes and businesses; however the amount of land that I passed that was being used for agriculture purposes was astonishing. From beef cattle operations, to chicken houses, forests filled with wildlife, dairy farms, and fields of crops, I passed it all. It just reminded me that it did not matter where I was going or what state I was in, agriculture was everywhere.

While making the drive from Springfield to central Missouri, there was a lot of rural land. For miles and miles all I could see was pastures and woodlands. There were an abundance of beef cattle that were grazing on the rolling Missouri pastures. I passed acres of woodlands that you know were full of all sorts of wildlife. There were veterinary clinics, stockyards, banks, farm credit services buildings, tractor dealerships, restaurants and everything else in between that all had one thing in common. They were directly influenced by the agriculture industry.

During the weekend, I traveled to Kewanee, Illinois (which is located in the north central part of the state) for a collegiate horse show with the Missouri State Equestrian Team. It was amazing to once again see all the agriculture that was passed on that 8-hour trip. In Illinois, there were acres upon acres of land that were used for crops. Corn stalks covered many of the fields which provided protection from soil loss. Cattle operations were scattered along the way, as well as a few hog farms. Several farmsteads dotted the horizons which was a surreal sight. It really made me think about how agriculture impacts everyone in all areas, whether it be a small town in southwest Missouri or a town in Northern Illinois.

All of this traveling was tiring; however it was a very insightful experience. Everywhere I went, I noticed something that was agriculture related. This led to me thinking about agriculture in general, and where we would all be without it. So, next time you are on the road, I encourage you to take the opportunity and analyze your surroundings. If you are like me, you will be truly amazed by how much agriculture you see. Not only will it give you something to do, it will also make you realize even more just how important and beautiful agriculture is.

The World From the Back of a Horse

When I have four days off from school, it almost always means me spending as much time as possible riding my horses. This past weekend was no exception. With the fantastic February weather we have been having here in southwest Missouri, I could not help but spend time riding my Quarter Horse gelding around my family’s farm.

As I was riding across our fields, I could not help but take in everything around me. It was very peaceful which gave me the perfect opportunity to do some thinking. I could not help but think about how truly blessed and fortunate I was to be able to soak up the sun while riding a horse. From where I was riding, I could see my family’s farmstead, which made me think how lucky I was to have the opportunity to grow up on a dairy farm. At that particular moment, I made the realization that life is SO good.

It is truly amazing how riding a horse can give me an entire different perspective on life. For a while, I was away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the stress that school puts on me. All I was focused on was my horse and our surroundings. It gave me the chance to really appreciate farm and country life, as well as all the small things we all tend to take for granted.

To some, this post may seem cliche’. However for me, it serves as an eye-opener for a number of reasons. First of all, with all the stress I am under from school, I really need to spend more time riding my horse to get away from it. Secondly, it is truly a blessing to grow up in a rural environment. Not everyone gets to have moments like these, which is really a shame. Lastly, I truly am a lucky woman who is blessed beyond measure.

If you are having a stressful week or just need to get away from the world’s problems, I urge you to go saddle a good horse and just go for a ride. Let your mind wander, relax and leave your worries behind for a while. You will most likely see life in an entirely new perspective all while sitting on the back of a horse.

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