Katie Pinke / Agweek Publisher
While checking out at Target recently, the checker asked, "Oh, do you have a new house?" "No," I replied. "I'm just organizing at home a bit." She said, "Last year, I moved into a new house and used all of these drawer organizers you're buying as we moved in." "Well I have lived in my house for 10 years and have messy, unorganized drawers, so hopefully this helps," I said. My daughters laughed, and one said, "It's OK, Mom. Ten years ago, you were having babies and traveling all the time for work. You didn't have time to organize drawers!"
What do food choices mean for my Thanksgiving shopping and yours? The American Farm Bureau Federation's 32nd annual price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $49.12, a 75-cent decrease from last year's average of $49.87. Farmers utilizing choices in seed technology, such as GMOs, allow us to have an abundance of food choices at affordable prices. Americans spend just under 10 percent of disposable income on food, the lowest in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
One in five adults have considered adoption. Of those, 72 percent have considered adopting through foster care more than a private infant adoption or international adoption. If roughly 47 million Americans have considered adoption from foster care, why are there still 110,000 children nationwide in the system waiting to be adopted? There is a disconnect — but thankfully there are organizations working to bridge the gap between adults who are considering adoption and kids in foster care who long for a forever family.
My grandma came to visit us last week. While chatting at one point, I was sitting in a pink chair that once belonged to my dad's grandma. I mentioned that I plan to have it reupholstered this winter. Then I went to my office and came out with an armchair and set it in front of our fireplace. My grandma smiled and said, "And that was my mother's. She bought in the '40s after the war, when there were better times."
How does a woman from rural North Dakota find herself at the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kan., for a discussion group series? As I walked into the standout facility, a tinge of self-doubt entered my mind. Thankfully, a wave of confidence followed and I was eager to share a rural voice in the conversation.
Q: How has agriculture shaped your life?
I've been a mother for 20 years and a sports mom for most of that time. Several days ago, I experienced a new "first" as a college football mom. We watched our son get in on a few plays as the University of North Dakota football team scored a touchdown against Utah in front of 46,000 fans. There were probably 200 fans in UND green in the former 2002 Olympic stadium in Salt Lake City. We lost the game, but the experience was still thrilling and opened a new chapter for our family as college football fans.
My girls recently taught me a lesson about kindness, while raising $503.25 for the local food pantry. With an assortment of doughnuts and four gallons of lemonade, their doughnut and lemonade stand was open for business bright and early on their last day of summer break. This is their second year to raise money for the Wishek Food Pantry.
Q: What is your role in agriculture today?
This past spring, I hosted a six-week book study on "The Best Yes" by Lysa TerKeurst. I'm not going to go into many details about the book but it encouraged me to give my best yes to my family, faith, work, business, friends and volunteer efforts. Like many areas in my life, it's a work in progress. The book also taught me about the "small no" response. Think of it as a chalkboard: You might need to say no for now, but as your circumstances allow, you can erase that response and turn it into a yes.