Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Farm Favorite Friday: Where I’ll Want To Be

Posted on: November 28th, 2014 by Katlyn Rumbold No Comments

I can not wait for you to meet today’s Farm Favorite Friday author!

She grew up in Bureau County and is currently working at the local vet clinic while working on her college degree. I got to know her through 4-H and let me tell you she makes the BEST CUPCAKES. They look like Angus heifers!

Anyway, her talents are many, but her way with words will stop you right in your tracks.

So without further adieu, take a journey with Danae Ross:

“Life is full of surprises. It often takes us on turns we never expect, throwing us into situations we never imagined would we’d be in. As life gets hectic, often the refuge we seek is rooted where we grew up or in a place like it. I think this is especially so for those who started out in the country. Though life may call us away, there seems to be an irreplaceable, almost ethereal feeling to heading back and appreciating the slow, quiet earthen atmosphere.

Danae Ross

Just for a minute, sit back and take a journey with me.

An early morning walk brings a sneak peek of a wondrous scheme unraveling beneath my feet. Pops of bright green spring up from the ground, not quite ready to reveal their surprises; trees quiver, shaking off the stiffness of a long winter rest; animals stir, preparing for the coming of new young; the sun smiles down on us all, welcoming the new spring.

Before long, though, the peaceful awakening is replaced with the buzz of life. Temps warm and send people and animals all around me flocking to the sunlight, soaking up its freedom and overwhelming the land, afraid to lose any time. Tractors and lawnmowers bring a comforting hum, moseying across the soft earth. Horses plod down trails, kids shinny up tree branches, and gardeners amble in the dirt, delighting in the feel of earth between their fingers. Summer has arrived.

But there is no time to waste because soon a crisp breeze cuts through the air and the earth begins transforming again. Deep maroons, fiery reds, golden yellows, and burnt oranges paint the landscapes. Leaves flutter around me, stealing my attention, and showcase the Lord’s brilliant design. Farmers and hunters take the scene, stripping the land of its bounty and providing for the world’s needs.

As we gather together to thank our creator for His blessings, glittering flakes begin to fill the air, bringing with them the cold bite of winter. Carols and Christmas tunes permeate the homes, and children scramble to pull on their mittens and scarves so they can go whizzing down the hills on bright colored sleds past gleaming icicles that bedazzle the trees for miles and miles.

No, there isn’t anything quite like being out in God’s country.

Danae Ross

Whether it’s going to the barn to visit the livestock, gazing across the land that stretches for miles, or enjoying a meal grown from food you tended to yourself, there is nothing that can replace that feeling, no words to even describe it. No matter the time of year or the season, there is always something new and wondrous, always something to amaze us and bring us peace at the brilliance of our Father’s hand.

I still have a lot of things I want to do in my life, places that I want to go: big cities, national parks and monuments, beaches….who knows, maybe I will even end up living in a bigger area, surrounded by homes and buildings. I don’t know what God has planned for me, but I do know that when the stress and strain of life start weighing me down there is only one place I will return to for true peace: The loll of gently swaying trees spanning all around me, animals sauntering quietly along their way, flowers poking up wherever they choose to bloom…All taking me away from rushing, hurried people, cold, hard structures, and petty, unnecessary drama.

The country, the farm, the timber, the pond… That’s where I’ll want to be.”

If you liked what you read, be sure to follow along with her adventures at ‘A Piece from Elise.’

And if you have a similar story you’d like to share, we’d love to feature you right here next week. Please email your story to

Where is the future of agriculture heading?

Posted on: October 13th, 2014 by Katlyn Rumbold 4 Comments

Have you ever taken a moment to contemplate this? With so many other demands making it hard enough just to get through the day, this often times gets overlooked.

But not for Dave Larson. And even though he is no longer with us, his wisdom will remain with us forever in the form of one a many speeches, essays, and research. In fact he gives a very enlightening twist to the future of agriculture that I find quite interesting.

It really makes you stop in your tracks and think.

From the pen of Dave nearly 26 years ago:

“We are losing a plant or animal species to extinction every 60 minutes. We may lose, in the next fourteen years, twenty percent of all remaining species of plants and animals, according to the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. The activities of one species, MAN, are totally responsible for the ecosystem changes causing this devastation.

Further, our water, air and soil are being degraded and depleted. Soil erosion caused by mineral extraction, deforestation, and modern agribusiness practices will, within the next three decades, create the loss of one-third of the planet’s topsoil.

I used to hear statements like these and I totally disbelieved their truth, I visualized a long haired “hippie,” completely out of touch with reality, predicting either doom or gloom several thousand years into the future or the demise of a small snail somewhere in the Chicago River.

My understanding has changed! In fact, my position is now 180 degrees from where it was earlier. Four years of experimenting with my irrigation system, attempting to build a non-limiting environment for growing corn, helped me understand the error of my thinking. The changes in the ecosystems in my own soil astounded me!

During that time, I applied extremely high amounts of anhydrous ammonia (400#N/year), muriate of potash (960#/year), and triazine herbicides (at 1 1/2 times the normal rate) in an attempt to raise 300 bushel-per-acre corn with no cultivation.

I speeded up a process which I believe was taking place on every “conventional operated” farm in the world today. I destroyed virtually all the biological life in the soil. One could not even find an earthworm in my fields. I caused the soil aerobic zone to diminish to 1 1/2 inches. The soil became more difficult to work. Yes, I speeded up a process that normally takes 25-100 years into 3-4 years!

“Man against nature…That’s what life’s all about!” declared General Thomas Sands, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. I must admit that I had developed a militaristic attitude of being at war with nature as well. I realize in retrospect that I was a product of the thinking of Bacon and Newton and others who set forth a view of nature as raw material existing for the sole purpose of being exploited. I was further influenced by political and economical theorists like John Lock and Adam Smith who suggested that nature only had value when it was turned into something useful. It had become easy for me to justify the use of the earth in any way at all, as long as individual freedom, knowledge, and prosperity were the results.

I now agree completely with Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson when he states the Christian faith in the Western World has become captive to the assumptions of modern culture which sever God from the Creation and subject the Creation to humanity’s arrogant and unrestrained power. Rev. Michaelson goes on to state that the materialism which has developed has constricted the arena for truth to be known and for certainty to be established. He says, “Now reality can only be proved rather than accepted by faith.” In other words, the true nature of the world can only be known through scientific method. This severs God’s relationship to the Creation in understanding of the modern mind. In short, nature is commonly understood today as an object unto itself, apart from it’s relationship to God.

In the first chapter of Genesis, verses 26-28, the account is related to God’s creation of man in his own image. God blessed man and gave him dominion over the earth. The biblical term dominion does not mean domination of nature by man. The biblical concept of dominions is connected to two other key ideas: covenant and stewardship.

Future of Agriculture

The concept of covenant deals with God’s covenant with man. This covenant began in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:28-29) and was renewed with Noah, Abraham, and Moses. The covenant specifically states that God will remain faithful to us and will provide everything we need to live. For our part of the covenant, we are expected to be faithful to God and to live in a loving relationship with Him and with our fellow creatures. In this, God expects us to take care of the land.

The biblical idea of stewardship has become identified with the concept of wise management. I now understand it to mean much more than just wise management. To me it is the process of learning from nature and learning to work in harmony with all of the natural ecosystems, including the ecosystems found in the soil. I understand my specific responsibility for stewardship in terms of renewable farming.

When I evaluate a specific practice in our farming operation, that practice must be profitable and it must be practical if it is to be implemented. I also know that practice must contribute to the integrity, the beauty, and the harmony of the bionic community. If it does not, it is wrong for me to implement.

Wendell Berry has written, “The family farm is failing because it belongs to an order of values and a kind of life that is failing.” According to Berry, the failure of the rural way of life is at root a failure to grasp the complexity of life on earth and the simple truth that our existence depends on how well we take care of the soil.

Dr. Calvin DeWitt, Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, says, “Christian stewardship is a care keeping of the earth that works to preserve and restore the integrity of the created order, doing the will of the Creator, and seeking for the Creator’s kingdom of integrity and peace — a kingdom devoid of human arrogance, ignorance, and greed. Christian stewardship is so living on earth that Heaven will not be a shock to us.”

As I consider alternatives for the future of agriculture, it is my prayer that I will be given renewed ears and renewed eyes for the presence of God in all of life, and that my farming practices will all be more and more in harmony with the Creator.”

So, I’m leaving you with this — Dave’s future is here. Where do you see agriculture in the next 26 years?

Until next time, happy trails!