Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Birthday Party

At my job on campus we frequently have birthday parties.  I think there must be a birthday party a month at least between the University Relations and Alumni Development departments and they're always fun because we get together, eat a dessert and talk in the Heritage Room.  On Wednesday we celebrated the birthday of the graphic designer on campus and I was one of two student workers there among the full time employees.

Somehow the topic of conversation at Wednesday's party got to be about farms and it appeared that everyone I was sitting near had grown up on a farm or at least had a close relative or friend who had.  An employee in printing mentioned that we used to drink raw milk and nobody thought twice about it, but said that now nobody does that.  As someone who drinks the milk from my family's dairy farm straight from the bulk tank, I mentioned that I still drink raw milk when I go home and actually prefer the taste.  I know raw milk is a controversial subject and everyone has their own opinions about it, which is completely fine, but it is interesting to see how opinion on it can change over the years.

Since everyone around me at the party was older than me, it also struck me how it used to be much more common for someone to be from a farm or at least know someone close who was.  With today's farm numbers continually declining, this just emphasizes the need for educating the public about farmers do everything and how their food is produced.  If people don't know anyone on a farm, they have nothing to base their knowledge on.

It was interesting to be able to talk about dairy and farms at a birthday party for work and it just goes to show that agriculture conversations can come up anywhere.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April Snow Showers Brings Cinco De Mayo

It's been a while since I've posted on here because April is always a busy month for me as a college student.  With a just a few weeks left until graduation, all of my big projects are due soon, there are tons of activities going on, and there's graduation to worry about.  Because of all this I've been a bit stressed lately.

UMC had its 3rd annual Fiesta in the Spirit of Cinco De Mayo last night - held now instead of May because May 5th is during finals week - and nearly 900 people came to campus for the event.  Crookston got 6 inches of snow yesterday which I wasn't a big fan of at first, but it wasn't too cold out and the snow was actually very pretty.  The turnout of 900 for the Cinco de Mayo celebration was great considering the fact that it was snowing all day, and in mid-April no less.  I was one of the many students who volunteered to help with the event, which included a marketplace, children's activities, a Mexican supper, a fiesta celebration, and a family dance.  I helped with the children's activities and helped kids color wooden maracas, which was great because I like working with kids.  Helping kids and going to the fiesta, which included dances from various parts of Mexico, really helped lift me mood and destress a bit.

One of the things that caught my attention during the Cinco de Mayo celebration was a video that was playing repeatedly about life in Mexico for a family during the children's activities.  At one point in the video, the narrator was talking about how their mother said that chemicals on their crops were ruining them.  As someone from an organic farm who also tries to support the conventional side of farming, it was interesting to hear that.  I'm not certain that there what the video was saying was actually happening, and it was just a brief comment, but it is still something that anyone who paid attention to the movie could have heard.