Posts Tagged With: Family

Sanden Garden: A Product of AgriEnergy Resources

Can anyone else believe we’re nearing the end of planting? The season flew by, and as with any year, we have faced our fair share of setbacks, but our little seedlings are tough and will persevere!

Speaking of tough, we have lots of exciting things happening this summer. Some of you may remember my garden from last year where I threw a bunch of seeds in the ground and hoped for the best? Well, we’re STILL eating on those butternut squash, beets, and jalapeño peppers!

This year, I decided to use some of our SP-1™, Pillar, and Myco Seed Treat® (MST), and of course some compost from one of our very own salesman, Alan Dale. His site, Rare Earth, is actually within walking distance from our house, and you’d never know he’s making compost. Rare Earth is the only compost site in the state of Illinois that hasn’t had an odor complaint filed against it. This man knows his stuff!

Anyway, I planted cilantro, carrots, lettuce, watermelon, peppers, radishes, beets, cucumbers, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and zucchini. Check it out!

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate the week following planting (very cold and lots of rain), but I’m pretty happy with the differences we’re seeing so far.

Notice Molly (our dog), photobombing at .17! She always has to sneak her way into photos in a not so stealthy way, but hey at least she loves to be in the garden with me! And my husband, he makes the best taste tester. Who knows you may even see more of them around these parts as the garden takes off!

Hopefully we’ll have more differences to report next week, but until then if you’re seeing any success with our products, I’d love to hear about it!

P.S. We also have research plots going in PA, OH, NY, NE, ND, MI, WI, IN, NE, IA, AZ, CO, AL, GA, MN. Hopefully we’ll start seeing some exciting results! Stay tuned!

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Happy Holidays!

holiday-hours

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Remembering Ray

This man. Raymond Roettger. August 21, 1945 – November 27, 2016. Salesman – Servant – Friend.

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Raymond Roettger                                                                    

This man touched so many lives in his short 71 years on earth. In fact, he’s one of the reasons AgriEnergy Resources exists today. He convinced our founder, Dave Larson, that he indeed had to start a business to sell his fertilizers 29 years ago. And here we are today, thriving, thanks to these 2 innovative farmers.

The first time I met Ray was at the ACRES Conference 2 years ago. He came up to me after a session and with a silly grin asked, “Where are you taking me to eat, Mom?” You can imagine my surprise as the age difference was pointed out! I was 25; he was 69. Since then, he’s become more than a co-worker to me. He became a friend.

At this past ACRES Conference we learned just how much he impacted not only us, but his customers as well. It was weird setting up our booth without him, but somehow we made it through. It was made a bit easier by the wonderful words and memories from so many others. Such as Edwin Blosser. Edwin runs Midwest Bio Systems in Tampico, Illinois and has worked with Ray for years. He said, “Ray was a wonderful friend, someone who would empathize with any struggles I would share. Someone who I was comfortable in confiding to, although I had not had the opportunity lately, as our paths didn’t cross much recently. Ray’s passing is a loss that causes us to stop in our tracks, understand anew that life is short and that we want to live it to the fullest, honoring God in thankfulness. I thank God for the privilege/gift of knowing Ray, being able to interact with him, and being challenged to improve as a result of our interaction!”

Another testament to Ray was from our owners, Paul and Barb Aley. They will remember his off the cuff jokes and his passion for the soil. “Ray was so down to earth in personality and literally with his profession. He was/is just priceless and we thank the Lord for him and for knowing him. Ray is unforgettable. I write this laughing as I know he and Dave are swapping stories with great guffaws. Those two and their humor. But at the root of both these personalities was integrity of caring for life: soil, crops, people.”

J.P. Aley adds his first impression of Ray was not what he expected. He found Ray standing up, with his head in a lampshade! Turns out that was the only place Ray had cell service as he was trying to talk with a customer. “I will forever be grateful to Ray,” J.P. said. “Sure he was a fantastic salesman, and will be greatly missed at AER; but even more importantly, I will always be grateful for the kind of person he was. He helped people, and loved doing it. We’re all lucky to have known him.”

Lucky we are. His fellow salesman always looked forward to working with him and hearing him speak at seminars.

“He could turn a dry and technical topic like soil fertility into a motivational speech that left the group of farmers pumped up and ready to take on any challenge,” said sales agronomists Gary Campbell. “I will always remember the 2 legged horse videos and pictures of tractors buried to the cab, reminding us to find humor in any situation and give thanks for the many blessing in our lives. It could always be worse!”

Sales agronomist Ken Musselman remembers, “I think of the time several years ago before cell phones when I was helping Ray with summer field visits. We finished a long day in his area and were heading north for more visits the next day. There were a couple of people from Australia with us so we were in at least 2 vehicles. Ray and I got to Terre Haute at 2am and Ray said it was time to call it a day. So we were sitting in a parking lot facing the highway so we could flag down the other vehicles to let them know we were stopping. Ray and I had trouble keeping our eyes open as we watched for them. You could always count on short nights when traveling with Ray. He always said he didn’t want me to get bed sores.”

But that wasn’t all Ray became known for at AgriEnergy. He named his GPS after our communication gal, Mardel Robinson. “So she could always tell me where to go,” he used to say.

That sense of humor will definitely be missed. Especially by our human resources gal Linda Dickinson, “He was a wonderful person and had a big heart! I will miss his phone conversations and his sense of humor.”

And our general manager, Dean Craine. You could always tell when he had been out with Ray. He’d always come back to the office as happy as can be, with a renewed sense of vision.

The list could go on, but I think you get the idea. Raymond Roettger will be greatly missed not only by us, but by many of you too.

So, Ray, if you’re reading this somewhere beyond the clouds, we’d like to send you off with this Irish proverb. May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, May the rains fall soft upon your fields, And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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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 ksanden@agrienergy.net.

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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.

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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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Easy harvest meal: chicken jalapeno popper pasta

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for easy, nutritious recipes, especially at harvest and planting time. Just the other night, I hit the jackpot. Chicken jalapeño popper pasta. Even my farmer loved it. Bonus for all you farm wives out there, I made this a week ahead and froze it until we needed it, AND I was able to use up some of my garden-fresh jalapeños. So easy and so delicious!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound cellentani pasta, cooked
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup bacon, crumbled
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapenos
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 2.5 cups cooked and chopped chicken

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray 9X13 baking pan with cooking spray
  • In a large mixing bowl add cream cheese, bacon, 1 cup cheddar cheese and jalapeños. Mix well.
  • Stir in cream and half and half.
  • Add pasta and mix well.
  • Stir in chicken.
  • Pour mixture into baking dish.
  • Spread bread crumbs over pasta (optional).
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Hope you all are having safe harvest season!

 

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Harvest is underway

This picture.

harvest-2016

This picture illuminates everything I love about fall. My farmer. My dog. Fresh picked butternut squash. Corn ready to be picked. Crisp weather. I could go on, but I won’t bore you with every single little detail we love about fall 😉

In a perfect world, this picture is what every farm family looks like the night before harvest. One last family dinner followed by some time of just being together before all the craziness starts. This picture illuminates the excitement of another bountiful crop. I mean even Molly (our dog) is smiling!

And so it begins. Harvest 2016.

From our farm family to yours, we wish you a very safe and bountiful harvest season!

 

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Family Farm Field Day 7/15-16

Have any plans next weekend? Consider visiting us at the Family Farm Field Day at Wholesome Valley Farm in Wilmot, Ohio.

We’ll have a booth set up along with Fowler Seed Marketing and JDS Seeds among many other sponsors. There’s a little something for everyone at this year’s event. The purpose of this field day is to provide an educational format for families who live and breath grass-based agriculture.

There will be specific tracks for:

  • Farmstead
  • Homemakers
  • Natural Resources
  • Children
  • Produce
  • Beekeeping
  • Poultry

The Family Farm Field Day will kick off Friday, July 15 from 4pm-8:30pm and continue through 4pm Saturday at the Wholesome Valley Farm located at 927 US Route 62, Wilmot, OH 44689.

There is no admission for this event.

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Field meals – farmer approved

Have I mentioned how awesome Pinterest is? Seriously, when I have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner, Pinterest for the win!

Why am I sharing this? Because out of the two recipes I’ve made so far, my farmer’s requested the one and said he’d tolerate the other (even though I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone). Regardless, I thought they both turned out great and thought if you’re anything like me, you need all the recipe ideas you can get!

Up first, Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini. Takes 15 minutes to cook and is SO good. Disclaimer, my farmer doesn’t care for tomatoes or anything that comes close to resembling alfredo sauce, but he LOVED this. And actually requested it a second time. Get the recipe here. Side note, I used Rotel tomatoes for an extra kick, but if you don’t like spice, stick with the regular diced tomatoes.

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Photo credit: cookingclassy.com

Up next, for a healthier, low-carb, meal Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Stuffed Zucchini Boats. I added chopped tomato and celery to the veggie mix and it was delightful. However I only put peppers, sausage and cheese in the farmers and he tolerated it. He said he wouldn’t necessarily order this dish in a restaurant, but I LOVED it. But then again, I’m a sucker for veggies and anything zucchini-related. I will note, these boats were the perfect size to pick up and eat with your hands (like a hot dog) making it easy to eat on the go. Get the recipe here.

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Photo credit: thetwobiteclub.com

Next, we’re going to try these homemade hot Ham and Cheese Pockets because who doesn’t like a hot ham and cheese in the tractor?!

What’s your go-to field meal?

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Meyer Produce: Mark Meyer Family

Long before the “Farm to Fork” campaign was even a thing, there was one Illinois farmer way ahead of the game. What started out as a seedless watermelon venture soon morphed into a third-generation family business.

Today that same man, Bill Meyer, now 83, is working alongside his son, Mark Meyer and his family, to bring central Illinois some of the best locally grown produce this side of the Mississippi.

Mark Meyer has graciously accepted an invitation to sit down with us and talk about his operation, Meyer Produce. So, without further ado, meet Mark Meyer:

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Some of the Meyer’s homegrown produce. Be sure to “Like” them on Facebook.

AER: Please tell us about Meyer Produce.
MM: Meyer Produce is located in Mason County, Illinois, 3 miles west of Manito. My wife, Shelly, along with our daughters Hannah, Paige, and Brooke, help on the farm. We raise about 250 acres of popcorn for Weaver Popcorn Co. Our biggest crops include 55 acres of fresh market sweet corn, 20 acres of watermelon, 20 acres of muskmelon, and 1-3 acres of peppers, in addition to various other vegetables on smaller acres. We also raise around 20 acres of pumpkins and squash in the fall and sell straw in the winter and spring. We also have 6 high tunnels that we raise tomatoes in to sell at roadside stands and farmers markets and have 90 acres of certified organic ground that we grow several different crops including, canning pumpkins, snap beans, soybeans, popcorn, seed corn, and field corn.

AER: Sounds like you have quite the operation. Was this something you’ve always wanted to do?
MM: I started raising and selling vegetables when I was in FFA. I then went on to get a degree in ag business/agriculture from Illinois State University. When I graduated, I worked for Thorp Seed Co. in Clinton, Illinois for 9 months. Then I went to work for a distillery for ten years and farmed on the side.

AER: You must keep  very busy. How do you divide up what gets done each day?
MM: My wife helps keep track of taking orders in the summer, while my oldest and youngest daughters help sort corn and pick tomatoes. My middle daughter, Paige, works a produce stand. My dad, Bill, who originally raised seedless watermelon in the ’70’s still helps every day at the young age of 83. He takes care of the tomatoes in the high tunnels.

AER: Do you still have a produce stand in your front yard? Where else can consumers purchase your vegetables?
MM: We sell our produce locally at our flower shop in Manito and at several produce stands and farmers markets. When we’re really producing a lot, we also sell to a local federal prison. We deliver to grocery stores and 15-20 locals within an hour distance. This helps keep our volume up and utilize our acres if we have excess. We have locations in Pekin, East Peoria, Morton, and Manito.

AER: Which AgriEnergy Resources products do you use? What benefits do you see from them?
MM: We put SP-1 on all of our seed to get the bacteria started early in the soil. We also put an AgriEnergy mix of potassium, sulfur, and micronutrients with all of our 28% nitrogen, either knifed in or through the irrigations. The AgriEnergy Mix seems to really help hold the nitrogen from leaching in our sandy soils. We also use a Pivot Mix to put any nutrients we are short on through the irrigations.

AER: In your opinion, what’s the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
MM: The most rewarding aspect to me is being able to watch my girls work on the farm and understand where their food comes from. It’s also being able to keep dollars local. Our customers enjoy knowing the food is picked fresh and is healthier than food shipped across the country or the ocean.

AER: Will you be adding any new crops for the next growing season?
MM: We continually look for new markets and will expand if the right situations arise.

At AgriEnergy Resources we’re big time supporters of biological farming and local foods. Thank you, Meyer Produce, for your dedication in growing healthy foods for the consumer!

 

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