National FFA Week by Ruthie Carpenter

National FFA Week is the (second) most wonderful time of the year for me as an FFA Member and Niman Ranch Farmer!  I serve as our FFA chapter’s Vice President, and help to plan many of the events that go on throughout this celebratory week. Our activities align with their motto: “Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve”.

Ruthie Carpenter and Father, Mark Carpenter, on FFA Sunday.
Ruthie Carpenter and Father, Mark Carpenter, on FFA Sunday.

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On the Upswing

During winter, the Iowa prairie covered in snow blends seamlessly into the stark white sky, which can make it very difficult to see at times.  I have resorted to wearing my sunglasses so I don’t go snow blind!  It’s fun to observe the beauty that can be found during the winter months, while understanding the unique challenges that accompany it.  Winter brings about unpredictable weather.  Yesterday it was 40 degrees and today it’s 16.  Thanks to the most recent winter weather, the ground is covered in a blanket of snow scattered with animal tracks.

White on White

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Valentine’s Date Ideas (and Recipes) for The Food Lover

Instead of making reservations at an expensive restaurant this Valentine’s Day, impress your date with a memorable, private dining experience at home.

Feel free to follow the age-old tradition of preparing a four course meal – no one’s stopping you! But we suggest you think outside the candlelight and try one of these four unique ideas with that special food lover in your life.

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Snowy Days

In preparation for the Super Bowl, I hit the grocery store and spent some time preparing snacks.  Despite not being a big football fan, I enjoy getting together with friends and family or just hanging out with my daughter to watch the big game.

This year, we experienced a blizzard warning during the game, which gave me another reason to head to the grocery store.  Blizzard shopping is a tradition on the prairie.  Of course, I live in town now, so there’s was not as much reason for me to make an emergency trip to the grocery store anymore.  But I still did it out of habit.  I’ll always be a farm girl no matter where I live.

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