Posts Tagged With: Agriculture

Roettger remembered for serving attitude

It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of a dear salesman, friend, and servant. Ray Roettger lost his battle with Lymphoma at 1:00 a.m. Sunday, November 27. ray-roettger

He was a great asset to our team and always had a
mischievous grin on his face. You could always count on Ray to help you with anything. Whether it was a fertility program for your farm or just a listening ear, he always made time for you.

As we celebrate Ray’s life this week, please feel free to send us your memories and we’ll share them on our social media pages.

Memories can be sent to our communication strategist at

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Happy Thanksgiving

As I was going through my emails this morning, I came across the following quote. Usually, I think to myself, “What a nice thought!” And that’s as far as it goes. However, this quote really resonated within me.

The quote: “God is glorified, not by our groans, but by our thanksgivings. It is when we stop thinking about what we don’t have or what we lack, and become grateful for who we are, that we can gain access to true unlimited inspiration. Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.– Frank Arrigazzi

God is glorified, not by our groans, but by our thanksgivings. How many times do you catch yourself groaning? There are so many days where I tear myself down. Whether it’s, “I wish I could be as good at my job as ______,” or “I wish I had the endurance of ______ at the gym,” or “Too bad we didn’t have a house like _____,” or “If only I could be as good of a wife as _____ is to her husband.”

But then I remember. God doesn’t make mistakes. He made me for who I am and I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be at this very moment. It is when we stop thinking about what we don’t have or what we lack, and become grateful for who we are, that we can gain access to true unlimited inspiration. I realize my life isn’t so bad; it’s actually pretty great. I mean I have a job I love (and awesome customers!), a CrossFit box (gym) that’s always challenging (and cheaper than therapy!), a charming little house (filled with love and some chaos!), a supportive church family, and an adoring husband. I can’t imagine my life any other way. Now, I realize in the blink of an eye, life can change and things won’t go according to plan. But in this very moment, in this very minute, I have everything I need. I am thankful. I am grateful. I am blessed.


Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. My Thanksgiving wish is that you, too, will gain true unlimited inspiration, even if it feels the world is caving in around you.

Happy Thanksgiving friends!





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Weather Wednesday 6/22/16

I was jolted awake at 3:00am this morning by thunder that rattled the entire house. While the thunder has let up, it’s been raining off and on since, giving our crops a much needed drink, up to 6.5 inches in some spots!

Here’s a look at what the weather is doing around the corn belt this week:

Reporting from Bureau County, Illinois, our sales agronomists Eric Johnston, says he woke up to 8/10 in his rain gauge and they’re getting even more rain. This is coming at a perfect time as a lot of the corn is beginning to go through the rapid growth stage.

Reporting from Northeast Iowa, our sales agronomist Ken Musselman, says most everyone is getting some rain this morning. Guys are foliar spraying and still have dry beans to plant. They should be finished cultivating on corn this week. In Indiana, he says most areas are dry and showing signs of drought stress this week, but looks like they’re going to get rain today.

Reporting from Southwest Nebraska, our sales agronomists Mike Wyatt, says weather continues to be hot and dry. Day time temps are in the low 90’s and nights are in the 70’s. The wheat crop is ripening fast, and there’s a 20% chance of a thunderstorm this evening. Irrigation systems are running a bit early this year.

Reporting from Southern Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, our sales agronomist Ray Roettger, says it’s been in the upper 90’s. So far, there’s been no rain which allows side dress and wheat harvest to progress nicely. He says the weather in New York is dry and the temperature ranges from 75-85 degrees.

Reporting from Western Michigan, our sales agronomist Gary Campbell, says it’s hot and dry. The crops look good, but will show stress soon if they don’t get rain.

And with that, here’s to another week of watching your crops grow!

New to Daily Dirt? We’d love to help you weatherproof your soils. Comment below with where you’re from and we’ll get you in contact with the right person.

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Hope in healthy soil

You know how they say when you’re really stressed you’re supposed to go outside, take off your shoes, stand barefoot in the grass and just breathe? Something about re-grounding yourself. In my case, it’s a nice long run and then I’ll go barefoot. And you know what? Call me crazy, but I always feel better afterwards. Whether it’s a runner’s high or there really is something to “re-grounding” yourself, more times than not, it gets me through whatever issues I’m stressing over.

Well, according to a series of 15- and 30- second public service announcements the NRCS has distributed, there really may be something to “re-grounding” yourself. These PSA’s highlight the critical role healthy soil plays in our lives all over the country. They’re very well put together and show the solutions to many of our problems could be right beneath our feet. Check it out…could there be hope in healthy soil?

Healthy soil lays the foundation for the rest of our lives. I’ll let that sink in on this fine Earth Day.

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A glimpse into our spring

Every year, it seems spring has a way of sneaking in. One day we’re snuggled up around the fire listening to the snow blow and then bam the snow’s gone. The grass is getting greener. Cows are having calves. Tractors are rolling. It’s spring time.

Amidst our hectic, spring schedules, it can be easy to lose our focus. Then you see this sweet face.


All is right with the world, even for a split second. You trudge on.

Then you see new life popping out of the ground. You get a second wind.


And wiping the dirt from your brow, you look out at this beautiful sunset knowing you did everything you possibly could to reap a bountiful harvest in a few months.


You thank God for the opportunity to be stewards of the land and the ability to overcome any obstacles nature throws our way this spring.

So, on this National Agriculture Day, we’re going to celebrate the start to another season. Embracing the challenges. Hoping for the best.

Happy National Ag Day, friends!


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What are you thankful for?

Today, we’re thankful. Thankful to live in small-town U.S.A., capturing scenes like this, even in the midst of a storm.

Thanksgiving 2015

Reminders from up above that there is always a silver lining; you just need to know where to look. So, yes, today we are thankful to be a part of a growing agricultural community. We’re thankful for our roles in providing America with healthy food, beginning in healthy soil.

From our table to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

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Winter meeting season

It’s hard to believe it’s time to start thinking about winter meetings already. As we start gearing up for our own winter seminar in January we thought we’d share some others we plan on attending. As many know, there’s no better place to network than at a winter meeting filled with farmers! Take a peek at the following list; maybe there will be one in your area!

  • Iowa Organic Conference – November 22-23, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Transitioning to Organic – December 1, Morris, Minnesota
  • Transitioning to Organic – December 2, Lamberton, Minnesota
  • Transitioning to Organic – December 3, Rochester, Minnesota
  • Midwest CSA Conference – December 3-4, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  • Beginning Farming Panel: So you want to be a farmer – December 5, East Troy, Wisconsin
  • Planning Your Farm Transition – December 5, Plainview, Minnesota
  • Great Lakes Fruit Vegetable & Farm Market Expo – December 8-10, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • ACRES U.S.A. Conference – December 9-10, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Conservation Tillage Conference – December 15-16, Willmar, Minnesota
  • IL Organic Conference – January 6-8, Springfield, Illinois
  • Great Plains Growers Conference – January 7-9, St. Joseph, Missouri
  • MN Organic Conference – January 8-9, St. Cloud, Minnesota
  • Transitioning to Organic Grains – January 13, Woodstock, Illinois
  • Mid-Ohio Growers Conference – January 14-15, Dalton, Ohio
  • 2016 Grassworks Grazing Conference – January 14-16, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
  • Planning Your Farm Transition – January 16, Plainview, Minnesota
  • 36th Annual Ecofarm Conference – January 20-23, Pacific Grove, California
  • NPSAS Winter Conference – January 21-23, Aberdeen, South Dakota
  • Farmers Teaching Farmers – January 22-23, Ames, Iowa
  • AgriEnergy Resources Annual Winter Seminar – January 26, Sandwich, Illinois
  • Southern SAWG Conference – January 27-30, Lexington, Kentucky
  • North Central Ohio Grazing Conference – January 28-29, Dalton, Ohio
  • Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference – January 29-30, Traverse City, Michigan
  • Northern IN Grazing Conference – February 5-6, Howe, Indiana
  • Missouri Organic Conference – February 5-7, Springfield, Missouri
  • Texas Organic Conference – February 11-13, Rockwall, Texas
  • Southern Iowa Grazing Conference – February 12-13, Bloomfield, Iowa
  • Planning Your Farm Transition – February 13, Plainview, Minnesota
  • OEFA Organic Conference – February 13-14, Granville, Ohio
  • Moses Organic Conference – February 25-27, LaCrosse, Wisconsin
  • Oklahoma Organic Conference – March 3-4, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Organic Growers School 23rd Annual Spring Conference – March 11-13, Asheville, North Carolina

Will you be attending any of these? If not, are there others you’d add to the list? If so, please leave them in the comments below. It’s always nice to know what’s going on.

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That one time, in ag class

You know you’ve all heard it and typically when a story starts off with “that one time in ag class” you know it’s going to be good.

Throwing it back to collegiate FFA recruiting future Illinois State University aggies. Needless to say all of us in this pic went on to work in agriculture and are loving [most] every minute of it.

Throwing it back to collegiate FFA recruiting future Illinois State University aggies. Needless to say all of us in this pic went on to work in agriculture and are loving [most] every minute of it.

Like that one time in ag class when we went to the National FFA Convention and were jamming out to classical music at a stoplight, drinking starbucks, wearing cowboy hats. Or, like that one time in ag class when we went to State FFA Convention and we got lost on our way to the dance, ending up in the ghetto. Or that one time in ag class when I drove my pony cart to school. Yep, you never know what you’re going to get when you enroll in an ag class.

Well today, is National Teach Ag Day and here at AgriEnergy Resources we are reminiscing about the good ‘ol days like that one time in ag class.

Needless to say the majority of us have many fond memories of ag class:

“My ag teachers really encouraged me to be involved in FFA where I learned leadership, public speaking, and many other skills that have carried over into my adult life.” – Gary Campbell, Agronomist

“My high school ag teacher/FFA advisor, who recently passed away, helped develop my appreciation of soils when I participated on the soil judging team.” – Ken Musselman, Agronomist

“Back in the Dark Ages, when I attended high school, girls weren’t allowed to take ag or be in FFA. But I am forever indebted to my 4-H Leaders and to all the world-class animal science professors at the University of Illinois who fueled my passion for agriculture.” – Mardel Robinson, Special Events Coordinator

So, if you’re reading this and you happen to be an ag teacher, maybe one of our ag teachers, thank you so much for all you do and continue to do for our industry. Enjoy your day!

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A peek into the “hottest” Illinois wedding

Well you guys. It finally happened. I married my very best friend! And I’m back from our eastern Caribbean honeymoon, refreshed and ready to bring you some pretty awesome posts in the next few weeks, but first I want to share some of the highlights of our wedding with you guys. My AgriEnergy family did a pretty good job of calming this bride down in the thick of planning and some even helped out with the flowers. So naturally I have to share some highlights, right?!

Saturday, September 5, 2015 was destined to be the best day. I jumped out of bed, hopped in the car with my sister (who was also the best maid of honor ever), jammed out to Dixie Chicks “Chapel of Love” drinking my Starbucks coffee labeled “Bride.” Yep, I set the tone off right.

Words can’t even describe how the rest of the day played out, even if it was 90+ degrees. It was better than anything I had ever dreamed. Typing this gives me goosebumps! It was so neat to see everyone’s hard work pay off. Brian and I poured ourselves into every single little detail of our wedding and it was so neat.

We got married in a barn.

Mr. & Mrs. Brian Sanden

But first there were so many little details. Agriculture runs strong in both our families, which I hope we portrayed in everything we did. Like the sunflowers, for example.

Wedding Sunflowers

We were able to grow some, but a special shoutout to one of our very own agronomists Eric Johnston. His family helped out with the remaining sunflowers to finish the centerpieces. He is currently growing sunflowers in a cover-crop blend.

And the apples. Oh the apples. We had a caramel apple bar, apple cider slushies, and caramel apple cake pops.


These apples came from our trees in the backyard, but the real treat came from Christ’s Orchard of Elmwood, Illinois. They have been known to use some of our fertilizer recommendations on their trees and the fruit is oh so tasty.

And the bouquets. Oh the bouquets. They were even prettier than I had ever imagined. Even from the day I picked them out.

Bridal Flowers

Yes we all wore boots. My groom surprised me with the white gerbera daisy (our flower girl is holding) that morning because 1) gerbera daisies are my favorite flower and 2) he surprised me with gerbera daisy bouquets that entire week with one less flower each day counting down the days until “I Do.” Cue the awww factor 🙂

The dress. Oh the dress. It was magical. From the beading, to the train, to the veil, to the many intricate buttons down the back, to the lace, it was a match made in heaven (both the dress and my groom).

The Wedding Dress

The ceremony. Oh the ceremony. It was perfect! Instead of a unity candle, we did a unity tree.

Sanden Unity Tree

In the office, we joked this part would be an AER commercial during the wedding, promoting our fertilizer, fish, etc., but in all seriousness the tree was perfect for us. I am so excited to watch this tree grow much like our love will over the years. We planted a patio peach tree. It can stay in a pot on your patio all year long, even in the winter months. It’ll produce a bushel of peaches each year. We each used soil from each of our farms and our parents watered it. For us, it symbolized our love with roots that grow strong underground (where no one sees), joining our 2 lives (and farms) as one, and of course all the “fruit” that will come with time.

All in all, it was an absolutely beautiful day and the love shared between family, friends, and the AER family could not have been stronger.

Categories: Continuing the Legacy | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Aunt Charlotte

Back-up-blogger Mardel here again. Thanks for bearing with me. Katlyn will be back soon – I promise!

Today is my Aunt Charlotte’s 90th Birthday. A great milestone for a beautiful, gracious lady who looks a lot like Queen Elizabeth!

Aunt Charlotte and other beloved family members and friends from generations past are the ones who taught me about hard work, responsibility, honesty and trust, faith and family, stewardship and serving others. They helped me appreciate the simple things in life, and realize how blessed I was to grow up in a farming community.

Because of the examples set by my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles (Aunt Charlotte is the only one left) and a great bunch of neighbors, I understand that farming is much more than a livelihood – it’s a lifestyle. And I understand that farmers are much more than potential AgriEnergy customers – they are a very special group of people with whom I’m honored to travel through life. In fact, working with farmers is almost like opening a birthday present every day. It is indeed a blessing and a gift to work alongside the very men and women who feed our world.

Happy 90th Birthday Aunt Charlotte! And, thanks for the life lessons.

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