What happened to March? It’s gone. Apparently, I’ve been busy traveling. It has been a great month, starting in DC and ending with my first weekend off this month, I intend to relax as much as possible.
I got the chance to travel across the state from Hettinger to Park River, and many spots in between. Let’s start with the week after DC. The Monday after I returned I got in the car and headed down to a shop talk in Hettinger. Now I had been playing phone tag with Bruce Hagen from down there in Adams County for some time and was thrilled to meet him, after months, in person. We had a great discussion down there. Talking about Meausre 2, the HSUS petition (that is now a measure) and the upcoming Farm Bill.
The shop talk participants
The sun sets on Hettinger
So that night I left Hettinger and stayed in Bismarck. Got up the next morning and began the journey to New Rockford where I got to meet with a Regional TAG group. What a hoot they were, by the end of the meeting they wanted to make flasks with their name on them. I don’t know if that will happen, but the energy of the young members is refreshing and much welcomed. The next day I traveled to McKlusky to meet with another Regional TAG member, where I got to meet the famous Wyatt ( my friend Denise Brown’s grandson), he was not a fan of me. Very unsure of this person coming out to his farm, who he had never seen before. He is as cute as Denise says he is, and very much protective of his mother. It was a great day meeting, and a perfect opportunity to meet Wyatt.
The cows were basking in the sun on that day in Sheridan County.
The following week I ventured the long trail to Valley City. HA! I meet with Yolanda and her Regional TAG people. We got to eat at the Pizza Corner, now I love that pizza, but it’s always better when you go to the restaurant. I just can’t figure it out. It was delicious. Also, I headed down to Berlin and met with some of the most wonderful people, the Just’s. They are so welcoming, sincere and honest. I can’t say enough good things about this family. I first got a chance to meet Christoff and Kelli through the FUE program, and now I was hoping to get them on board with regional TAG. Well if time would’ve let me I’d have stayed there all day and visited. However, life makes demands. I so look forward to working with them in the future.
On Friday of that week I got to head up to Park River for the annual Walsh County Casino Night. This is quite the event. Games, door prizes, rolette wheels, and Scott and Faith making sure that no one was thirsty. The steak was incredible, hit the spot after a long week of traveling. I always clear my calendar for this one, because it’s always worth it. I got a chance to meet some new people and connect with (now) old friends. The worst part of the whole event was driving. I decided I was going to try and get all the way home. The fog was thick the entire way home, luckily I’ve taken this trail a time or two and made it back all in one piece.
The next day I headed out to Burleigh County, near Menoken, for a shop talk at Val and Randy Rybergs. Now these two I had met at a shop talk a year before, now not only had they attended TAG events, got selected to go on a fly-in and won a trip to Vegas, they were hosting their own shop talk. That’s the beauty of these events, you never know who you will meet that will make all of the difference in NDFU. Even a few insurance agents came out to join us at this shop talk, what a great discussion we had. Denise even brought Wyatt, who is still leary of me, but it’s getting better now. Also, I got to talk politics with Arlene, she is one of my favorites. We could talk for days.
Sometimes as I travel across the state I just have to pull over and take a picture. This state is just so beautiful. These are some “happy” cows in Burleigh county.
This past week I began winding down my intense traveling season for this year with a trip to Elgin. I think I’ve been to Our Place Cafe at least three times, thank goodness Matt Neiderman was there to help me this time with the menu and specials. However, he told me next time I plan a meeting there I should make it for a Monday, as that is Knephla soup day, sounds like a great plan to me. Jane and I met with Linda Koepplin and Matt. It was actually pretty cool because as we were meeting with them, Kathy, who serves on the Grant County board, came to the cafe and stopped to say hello, and a shop talk attendee from the year before just happen to stop in the cafe that day for lunch. I remembered him as the kid on the end of the table who busted out the hard alcohol. My oh my the people you meet along the way! It was a fun time. Here’s the Farmers Union elevator in Elgin.
Jane and I then headed to visit Shane in New Salem, along with Salem Sue. Pie and ice cream in the afternoon to top off a great day.
The week finished off with Terri’s regional TAG group coming to Jamestown last night. This group was a riot. I walked in the room and they were laughing, having a good time and acting as if they were old friends. Now a few of them have met each other before, or at least been at the same event. As I sat back and watched them interact, I realized what a good thing this Tomorrow’s Ag Generation program is going to build. Lifelong friendships with people who share the same passions. They thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company and began talking about event ideas. That’s my dream for TAG, young farmers and ranchers making connections and having a unified voice to stand up for agriculture. Building friendships, creating awareness and speaking out. Last night I felt that happening in that room. It’s a big step forward, that I am very excited to be a small part of, and it’s just the beginning.
Spring’s right around the corner, along with heavy planting and spraying. While it won’t be nearly as often, I’ll see you on the road.