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New Year’s Resolutions for Living the Farm Life

The farm life is among the most rewarding you can choose. How will you resolve to better enjoy it in the New Year?

Living the farm life can be challenging and exhausting. But it’s also the most rewarding way of life we can imagine. With the dawn of 2013 just days away, may we offer a few New Year’s resolutions to help you savor the sweetness of your chosen path.

  • Resolve to invest: Farming technology is ever changing. New developments designed to make your work easier, safer and more profitable are introduced every year. Resolve to read up on all the latest advancements or, better yet, take time out to attend an industry tradeshow like the Ag Connect Expo & Summit in Kansas City, MO in January; the Citrus Expo in Ocala, FL in August; or the IDEAg Farmfest in Redwood County, MN, also in August.
  • Resolve to inspire: Lend a bit of your expertise and experience to the next generation of farmers. Volunteer as a mentor with your local 4-H or Future Farmers of America program. We bet you’ll get more out of it than you give.
  • Resolve to help your fellow man: Economic times are tough. But those living the farm life are the first to band together for the greater good of their communities. Know a fellow farmer who’s having a tough time? Reach out and lend a hand if you’re able. It’s good for both your community and your soul.
  • Resolve to notice: It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of farm work and lose sight of the small joys that each day offers up. Take an extra few minutes to immerse yourself in the wonder of a newborn calf wobbling on his young legs, the scent of freshly plowed earth, the show of lightning bugs against the canvas of the night sky, and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with each harvest.

So how will you resolve to make 2013 a great year? Post your New Year’s resolutions on the
Farm Life Facebook fan page.

From all of us here at Farm Life, have a safe, prosperous and happy New Year!

Hurricane Sandy Decimates Crops from Cuba to Canada – How Can you Help Fellow Farmers?

Luckily, Hurricane Sandy’s damage to major U.S. crops was minimal, but many smaller urban farms were impacted.

Record heat, drought and wildfire had already made 2012 a tough year for farming in North America. Then, along comes a lady named Sandy who, as it turns out, was no lady at all. The largest Atlantic hurricane on record, Hurricane Sandy cut a $20 billion to $50 billion, 2,000-mile swath up the East Coast through the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S., taking homes, buildings, subway systems and crops.

The storm destroyed upwards of 30 percent of Cuba’s coffee bean crops, then moved on to the Bahamas, where farmers lost banana, cassava, tomato and watermelon crops. Fortunately, many U.S. growers had already harvested their summer produce by the time Sandy made her debut as a post-tropical cyclone late October. But localized crop damage has been severe, including at New York City’s Red Hook Community Farm and Battery Urban Farm, flooded by several feet of seawater. Also washed away were bees at Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farm and the city’s largest commercial apiary which yields over 1000 pounds of honey per season.

In Maryland and Delaware, power out ages, transportation disruptions and a potential lack of feed may prove big challenges for poultry farmers. And in the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia area, farmers are reporting damage to 2,000 acres of small grains including wheat, barley and oats.

Overall, U.S. farms fared far better than those in the Caribbean and Bermuda. However, some experts expect shortages and price boosts for some imported crops. And U.S. crop insurance claims in 2012 could be “profoundly larger than anything we’ve ever seen in this country,” says ecologist Steven Apfelbaum of Applied Ecological Services in Wisconsin.

If your farming operation was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, quickly but thoroughly document and photograph losses and report them to your state’s Farm Service Agency, county extension agent, crop insurance agent, emergency management district, county Farm Service Agency (FSA) and veterinarians. Report damage to your homes or barns to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you’d like to help your fellow farmers impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Lutheran Disaster Response is one of several organizations collecting donations and coordinating volunteers to help farmers and families recover.

Which Presidential Candidate Will You Vote For, Farmers?

Farmers are the lifeblood of America and our vote counts. Be sure to cast your vote for America’s next president Nov. 6.

Election Day is fast upon us. How will farmers and the farming industry be affected by the next POTUS? Candidates’ responses to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s questionnaire may shed some light on President Barak Obama and Governor Mitt Romney’s stances on issues such as immigration and seasonal farm labor, energy supply and security, environmental regulations, export opportunities and taxes – multiple facets of farm life and the farming industry. But foremost on many farmers’ mind is the new Farm Bill.

The U.S. Farm Bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government and each one greatly impacts international trade, environmental conservation, food safety and the well-being of rural communities. Here’s an excerpt from the AFBF’s 2012 Questionnaire for Presidential Candidates.

AFBF: A new Farm Bill will be enacted and implemented over the next four years during a time of significant evolution in agriculture. What policy and risk management tools do you propose to ensure that agriculture is a profitable, competitive and viable industry?

Obama: I understand the need for a strong farm safety net. That’s why I increased the availability of crop insurance and emergency disaster assistance to help over 590,000 farmers and ranchers keep their farms in business after natural disasters and crop loss. My administration expanded farm credit to help more than 100,000 farmers struggling during the financial crisis to keep their family farms and provide for their families. And as farmers continue to go through hard times because of this drought, we are expanding access to low-interest loans, encouraging insurance companies to extend payment deadlines and opening new lands for livestock farmers to graze their herds. And I know that any Farm Bill passed this year . . . needs to have adequate protections for America’s farmers. That’s why I have called for maintaining a strong crop insurance program and an extended disaster assistance program.  . . . Instead of making farmers pay more for crop insurance, we will do it by cutting subsidies to crop insurance companies and better targeting conservation funding.

Romney:  I support passage of a strong Farm Bill that provides the appropriate risk-management tools that will work for farmers and ranchers throughout the country. In the near term, my immediate priority should be given to enacting disaster relief for those not traditionally covered by crop insurance as this year’s drought has worsened. . . .  Other nations subsidize their farmers, so we must be careful not to unilaterally change our policies in a way that would disadvantage agriculture here in our country. In addition, we want to make sure that we don’t ever find ourselves in a circumstance where we depend on foreign nations for our food the way we do with energy. Ultimately, it is in everyone’s interest is achieve a level playing field on which American farmers can compete.

Read the full questionnaire responses here. And make sure you cast your vote on or before November 6. Farmers are the lifeblood of America. Our votes count!

The Cowboy Rides Away – Farm Life Fans Gear Up for George Strait’s Farewell Tour

George Strait announced his upcoming "The Cowboy Rides Away Tour" will be his last.

One of country music’s most definitive figures is calling it a day. In a Nashville press conference, “King of Country” George Strait announced that his upcoming The Cowboy Rides Away Tour will be his last.

“It’s been a hard decision for me to make,” Strait told reporters at the press conference, held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, of his decision to hang up his touring hat at the end of his two-year tour kicking off in January. “But don’t think I’m retiring.”

Much to the relief of fans worldwide – and all of us here at Farm Life, Strait, who turned 60 in May, says he’ll continue to record new albums, pen new songs and perform at special events. But after more than three decades on the road, he’s decided it’s time to spend more lazy days with his family.

Strait first began performing while attending Pearsall High School in Texas, where he played with a rock and roll garage band. His musical tastes soon would turn to country, and he’d find inspiration in the styles of singers Hank Thompson, Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Bob Wills, Hank Williams and even Frank Sinatra. In 1971, he eloped with high school sweetheart Norma, to whom he remains married today, and enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he played with an Army-sponsored band called Rambling Country. After an honorable discharge in 1975, it was off to college for an Agriculture degree. Throughout college and in the years following, Strait performed with several local honky tonk and bar bands while also managing his family cattle ranch. Finally, in 1981 with Music Row contacts made via bar operator Erv Woolsey, Strait got his big break.

Fronting his Ace in the Hole Band, Strait released his debut album, Strait Country, for MCA Records in 1981. The album eventually went Platinum and produced three top-10 singles including If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger (There’s One Coming Home), which hit No. 3. on the Hot Country Songs chart. Altogether it was an amazing feat for a debut effort, and Strait’s success hasn’t let up since. Over the decades, he’s racked up 59 No. 1 songs, more than 60 major industry awards and more than 65 million album sales. He is the only artist in music history to achieve at least one Top Ten hit each year during his 30-year career and was only the second artist at the time (after Eddy Arnold in 1966) to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame (2006) while still actively recording and producing chart topping hits and albums.

Strait’s The Cowboy Rides Away Tour kicks off January 18 at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, TX. At least the first 20 live shows will feature special guest Martina McBride, the most played female artist on country radio for the past 11 years, according to Mediabase and Broadcast Data Systems.

“This is going to be a very special, emotional tour for me,” Strait said. “Everywhere we’re going holds fond memories and I’m looking forward to paying my respects.”

Want to pay your respects to Strait? Post your comments and pics on the Farm Life Facebook fan page and check to see if The Cowboy Rides Away Tour will make a stop in your town. The first 20 stops have been released (listed below). Check Strait’s website for additional stops as they’re announced.



  • JAN 18 | Lubbock, Texas | United Spirit Arena
  • JAN 19 | Oklahoma City, Okla. | Chesapeake Energy Arena
  • JAN 25 | Salt Lake City, Utah | Energy Solutions Arena
  • JAN 26 | Nampa, Idaho | Idaho Center
  • JAN 31 | Sacramento, Calif. | Power Balance Pavilion
  • FEB 1 | Fresno, Calif. | Save Mart Center
  • FEB 2 | Las Vegas, Nev. | MGM Grand Garden Arena
  • FEB 15 | St. Paul, Minn. | Xcel Energy Center
  • FEB 16 | Grand Forks, N.D. | The Alerus Center
  • FEB 22 | Buffalo, N.Y. | First Niagara Center
  • FEB 23 | Hartford, Conn. | XL Center
  • MAR 1 | Knoxville, Tenn. | Thompson-Boling Arena
  • MAR 2 | Lexington, Ky. | Rupp Arena
  • MAR 17 | Houston, Texas | Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo*
  • MAR 22 | Greenville, S.C. | Bi-Lo Center
  • MAR 23 | Greensboro, N.C. | Greensboro Coliseum Complex
  • APR 5 | Albuquerque, N.M. | The Pit
  • APR 6 | Las Cruces, N.M. | Pan American Center
  • APR 12 | N. Little Rock, Ark. | Verizon Arena
  • APR 13 | New Orleans, La. | New Orleans Arena


Wild Horse, Wild Ride Documentary Heads to Theaters

“A horse – You gotta treat it like a woman. You touch her in the wrong place, she’ll hit you.” Words of wisdom from a Navajo horseman featured in the new documentary, Wild Horse – Wild Ride. And if you’re living the farm life, you know exactly what he means.

Each year thousands of wild horses are rounded up and removed from public lands by the U.S. Government. All will need permanent homes, and none has ever been touched by a human hand. Therein lies the challenge for both the horsemen aiming to break and train these horses, and for the horses themselves who face a bleak future if they can’t be tamed.

Enter the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge, an annual contest that challenges 100 people to spend 100 days taming a wild mustang, readying it for adoption into a better life beyond federal corrals. Wild Horse, Wild Ride follows eight competitors over three months of working to transform these frightened, sometimes angry animals into calm companions. Among them are Charles, a Navajo grandfather aiming to prove he’s still got game despite his age and aches; Wylene, a blonde beauty sporting sequins and an indomitable spirit; and brothers Nik and Kris, who shun traditional horse training principals in favor of their own creative and intuitive approach – with staggering results.

Says the Wild Horse, Wild Ride website: “The film traverses across the United States to tell stories of the profound the bonds that can develop between people and animals. From the rolling hills of New Hampshire to the Navajo Nation to the heart of Cowboy Country, the film captures a journey that is at times harrowing, humorous, heartwarming and heartbreaking as these wild spirits- both human and horse- embark on the ride of their lives.”

Throughout 2011 and 2012, Wild Horse, Wild Ride traveled the film festival circuit, racking up more than a dozen awards. Acquired by Screen Media, it made its theatrical debut in New York August 24 and begins a nationwide rollout in September. See the trailer below, then check the website to see if a screening is planned near you, or find out how to bring the film to your town. Have you seen the film? Be sure to post your thoughts on the Farm Life Facebook fan page.


Welcome to the Farm Life Blog

Does the early morning rumble of a tractor starting up give you an invigorating jolt? Does the glint of white in the woods or the sight of a largemouth bass breaking the water’s surface get your pulse jumping? Do you take inspiration from the beat of horses’ hooves or get a deep sense of contentment from watching the sunset to a chorus of crickets, whippoorwills and the slow creak of a porch swing? Well then, you’ve come to the right place.

Welcome to Farm Life. Our passion is promoting the outdoor lifestyle and farming cultures that seem all but forgotten in today’s fast-paced, corporate-driven America. We’re not a sign. And we’re much more than a T-shirt. We’re a community of like-minded people itching for a return to the fundamentals of faith, family values and a simple, well-lived life. We offer a full slate of Farm Life-branded products including men’s, women’s and kids’ apparel, hats, accessories, decals, stickers, metal signs and more. And we’ll keep you updated on great events that celebrate the Farm Life culture.

Speaking of – Mark your calendars for the Sunbelt Ag Expo, dubbed North America’s premier farm show, at Spence Field in Moultrie, Ga. October 16-18. More than 1,200 exhibitors will showcase the latest in farming technology for everyone from the large acreage production farmer to the weekend lifestyle farmer with a small herb garden and a few laying hens.

And, we’ll also let you know what’s happening on the rodeo circuit.

Visit often to see our newest merchandise, fill your calendar with fun events and read all the latest Farm Life news.