Katie Pinke / Agweek Publisher
Q: What is your role in agriculture today? My husband and I operate a 200-head commercial cow/calf operation and 200-plus head bred heifer development program. I care for our three young children (ages 5,4 and 1), with one on the way (due in July), while assisting in daily operations. I also manage our herds when my husband, Kris, is away working 24-hour shifts as a full-time firefighter. Q: How has agriculture shaped your life?
We often push ourselves and our kids to achieve success, to win a trophy or an award, but what happens to those trophies after the victory has faded? Our son, Hunter, found out recently when he came home after completing his first year of college. He was asked to speak to junior high students at his former school about his FFA experiences and how FFA could impact them.
Q: What is your role in agriculture today? My main purpose involves planting food plots and maintaining CRP (burning of and spraying) and other grasslands that provide nesting habitat and food for the pheasant population that we harvest during the fall. Doing this provides the necessities needed to maintain a good crop of South Dakota ring-necked pheasant. Q: Why did you choose to come back to your home area of Mitchell, S.D., after college?
I speak and write about food and agriculture. My kids are exposed to agriculture thanks to my family's farm. They're active in 4-H, too. This past week, my third grader, Elizabeth, came home from school asking about organic versus conventional farming and food. I listened intently when she asked, "So organic matter in soil is for organic farming? And organic doesn't spray, right? When there is an organic label on food, is it healthier?"
Q: What is your role in agriculture? I didn't see myself in this career when I started grad school, and now I can't imagine doing anything else. My degrees are in animal science, but most of my research has focused on forage utilization by livestock, and really knowledgeable agronomists have helped shape my knowledge base. I am responsible for conducting forage-based workshops and educational materials for producers in the region, as well as doing research that helps keep Montana State University at the forefront of forage research and technology.
Q: As a meat expert, how and why is meat a safe food choice? Meat is an exceptional source of vitamins and minerals and, of course, protein. Beef, pork, lamb, poultry, fish and wild game each have varying nutritional benefits. For example, eating a 3-ounce serving of pork will provide more potassium than eating a banana, and it will help lower cholesterol. I believe the United States has the safest food supply in the world. We in the meat industry strive to make sure meat is wholesome and safe to eat.
Q: What is your role in agriculture today? My husband Nathan and I dairy farm in Central Minnesota. We milk 100 Holstein cows in a tie stall barn. Nathan and I share the workload on our farm. We purchased the farm from Nathan's parents in 2011. Nathan is a fifth-generation dairy farmer on our farm. Our children are with us every step of the way. I share our life on a dairy farm on my blog Raisingafarmer.com and in social media. Q: How has agriculture shaped your life?