Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week In Review

Good morning. Thought I'd just give you a rundown of our week. Last Sunday noon our church care group came over for lunch. I totally forgot to take a picture. We had a great time. Thanks Dena and Lisa for your coordination. 
 It rained most of the day Monday. We hauled soybeans to the Mississippi River where they are loaded right on to barges. A barge holds 55000 bushels.
Our rain gauge holds 5 inches. It was full. We had a 5 inch rain in September and now another one in October. The fields are definitely soft and many farmers are making arrangements for duals, 4-wheel drive, or tracks on their combines.
Last Sunday evening our Pastor used an illustration about a flood in the late 1800s that blew out a dam because of lack of maintenance on the spillway where lives were lost. He related that to living and how we are to maintain our Christian living so we don't have blowouts in our lives. 
 Tuesday our local Christian radio station started their annual shareathon for support for the upcoming year. We so often take things for granted like good gospel music. Thanks for all who supported. Thanks Bev and company for all your efforts for our community.
 Wednesday was a shop day and Karl and others got the honey wagon ready for another hauling season. Hope it drys up some.
 Alton is a widower and a neighbor who came over for a visit. He spent his career fixing musical instruments. Flutes were his specialty.
 Thursday one of our jobs was to go to Walmart and buy every gallon of RV antifreeze they had in stock and winterize our sprayer.
Friday we went back to the field. We started on some custom corn by Barns City. The grain moisture was a little wet. The customer would have had expensive drying charges since he was storing in town so we put that job on hold. 
We helped Daryl and his crew do some shingling while the weather was wet.
Remember Bear, the Colorado native who now lives in Iowa and has Rachel as a new owner. We needed a post hole digger from his pen and decided to feed him some apples and give him some attention.
Late Friday we switched back to combining soybeans. The combines are leaving tracks and the grain carts have to stay on high ground.
Yesterday was Mark's birthday. 36 years ago on the night he was born our only vehicle was out of commission and we had to call our neighbors Ken and Linda to borrow their car to go to the hospital.
Stacy brought supper to the field last evening. Then her and the kids rode with Mark in the combine. Their son Ethan ran the grain cart all day.
Their ride was cut short when the combine got really stuck and it took several hours to get it out. My thoughts this morning are that I am so thankful that we were all kept safe again this past week. Many times there were opportunities for bad things to happen and we were watched out for. God is good.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Oops Of A Speeding Mind

Sometimes when my mind is in high gear I forget what I'm doing. For instance at Cargill the other day I pulled on the scale, got the green light, backed up over the pit, unloaded, pulled on the scale to weigh empty thinking about my day, got the green light to exit, not thinking what I was doing backed up again over the pit with an empty truck.
 Once in a great while I have hurried off the yard to go accomplish something all the while thinking about something else and then for a moment wonder where I was headed.
 Laying in bed dead tired at night with just a few hours to sleep and ones mind won't shut off is a bummer. I'm working really hard at not arriving late. I've been known to get lost in my own little part of the state trying to find a shortcut.
 I want to share a story with you this morning that I enjoyed reading. It reminded me of what happens when you try and fit 5 gallon in a 2 gallon bucket. It did NOT happen to me however it's easier to tell in the first person narrative. Bear with me if you have already heard it.
 Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play my bagpipes at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's site in the back country.
 As I was not familiar with that area, I got lost and being a typical man, did not stop for directions. 
 I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.
 I went to the side of the grave and looked down The vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do so I started to play.
 The workers put down their lunch and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man.
 As I played the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.
 As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for over twenty years."
 Apparently I'm still lost.                         Have a good week.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Matters Of The Heart

Have you ever wondered why you do what you do? Are you effective? What motivates you? Do you have integrity? Does what you do benefit others?
Do you have a story to tell? We are living in the season of political ads where folks are talking more about their opponents shortcomings than their own goals. What tells more about a candidates heart, their message or their past actions?
It will soon be time to see folks about next years crop seed needs. Crop prices make planning uncertain. In the picture below is a seed dealer, his boss, and his bosses boss. Actually the real bosses in the pic are the other 4 guys, the customer. The customer is the one who pays salaries and keeps companies in business. If a business takes care of it's customers honestly, the bottom line will take care of itself. 
Food is usually effective at our house when folks want to show they appreciate our business. Thanks Brent and Randy for lunch in the field.
Due to harvest Karl was getting behind in his hog work. So Friday morning while the A team harvested the B team vaccinated 2500 pigs.
Cargill/Eddyville opened in the late summer of 1985. It is Cargill's second largest facility in the world. It put a small river town of 1100 people on the map. It changed the way surrounding grain elevators do business.
Cargill uses 300-400 semi loads of corn a day. Back when they were first open there were times when they would dump corn 24 hours a day. I remember taking my 300 bushel straight truck. Today a combine holds more than that.
Ray is the merchant responsible for purchacing the 90 million bushels of corn/year it takes to keep the plant operating. Running out of corn is not an option. This past week Ray's boss Rich came from Minneapolis for a visit.
75% of Cargill's corn is bought directly off of farmers. 25% is purchaced from grain elevators. Delivery is all trucks. Trains haven't delivered corn from up north for years due to more ethenol plants and feed mills up there.
I took Mike to a field to show him a possible terrace to build and we got stuck. Had to walk a ways to get the dozer. This field received an inch of rain mid week.
Then last evening Matt got stuck in the same field mowing field borders. I was thankful Mike's dozer was still there.
What we do for a living is a gift from God. Hopefully by how we handle that responsibility, we can benefit and be a gift to others.
"Man looks at the outward appearences, but the Lord looks at the heart."  1 Samuel 16:7

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Looking Forward

Good morning. It's been a busy week. I'm looking forward to Sunday. We were created to get things done. We were also designed for a day of rest. Still can't sleep in. We'd miss our visit. 
I'm thankful for a family that's smarter than me when it comes to technology. All our planter data is downloaded into the combines so we know how hybrids, populations, and planting dates effect yield and drydown. 
Having the crop sold and committed before harvest allows us to look forward. It gives us a plan. We know what we have to do. Get it on wheels and get it to Eddyville.
We arrive at the shop just after 5 am. Half the crew heads for the field. The other half jumps in the old van and heads down to Cargill/Eddyville where the loaded semis have been put in line the previous evening.
Harvesting this way is not possible without trucks. Thanks to Kevin and crew, Luke and crew, Mike and crew, and Bruce for your hard work.
Neither is harvest possible without a dedicated crew. Thanks to family. Thanks to Brad and Alex. Thanks to Pablo, Matt, and Andy. Thanks Eli for coming out to help your dad yesterday. You did talk my ears off while you helped me in the combine. I loved every minute of it.
A dedicated crew isn't possible without supportive and understanding gals who don't see their husbands much during harvest. Thanks girls for putting together family time tonight. 

I'm also thankful for grandkids that are full of energy, like to help, and love the outdoors. Cody shot his first buck. Ezra and Elliott stayed home from school to help while their parents farm was combined. Gideon raked hay for his dad. Ethan and John have both been up early helping. Jackson has rode in the combine with his dad where he likes to chew on everything. I love it when they help and look forward to the future.
With uncertainty because of crop prices it's easy to get bogged down and put off decisions about next year. Farming takes optimism, looking forward, and making a plan.
We are adding a cover crop to our fertilizer spread and working it in on our hilly ground to prevent erosion.

Thanks to Daryl, Colten, and Gene for a good week. Thanks to Brian for helping. Thanks to Kyle for lifting the trusses with his crane.
Kinze thinks our latest project is a dog house. She better enjoy it during construction because if you know Jan you know it will be off limits to animals when it is finished.
It doesn't matter whether we're talking family, school, church, or business, the future sometimes looks uncertain. However if there is no faith in the future then there is no power in the present. I'm looking forward on all fronts. Have a restful and worshipful Sunday.