June 28, 2011 – Busload of Teachers Visits High Hopes

Today a busload of teachers visited the farm. The local Farm Bureau sponsors the event.

It was part of a tour educating teachers about different types of farms.

Although we only had a short time, Linda ushered them around the farm to tell the story of local agriculture.

They were lucky to get in safely – the driver cut the corner a bit close and dropped down three feet into the ditch and bottomed out the bus.

one year ago…”Garage Progress”

June 27, 2011 – Emma Visits St. Olaf

Emma’s 2nd college visit was to St. Olaf in Northfield, MN.

buntrock commons

It was very kind of them to put up a banner to welcome Emma to the visit day!

St Olaf Dining Hall

I can totally see how this dining hall might be decorated like the Great Hall in Harry Potter.

St. Olaf Lunch

I’m thinking it might be worthwhile to go back to college for four years, just to get meals like this every day.

Regents Hall Atrium

The Regents Science hall is one of the most impressive college campus buildings I’ve ever seen. It’s Leed certified and has abundant natural light. This is one of the corner atriums.

Regents Rooftop Garden

It has rooftop access to look out over the surrounding countryside and sit for a spell.

classic college building

In addition to the new buildings, it’s got some older ones to maintain the character of the place.

stained glass hockey stick, st olaf stained glass hockey stick

Rumor has it the yellow object in the center and middle of the stained glass behind the alter in the chapel is a hockey stick. Way to go Oles!

An amazingly relaxing place to sit is under the wind chime carillon.

Just a bit of the sound from the structure.

one year ago…”On-Farm Chicken Processing”

June 26, 2011 – Des Moines Art Fair

We haven’t been to the Des Moines Art Fair for a few years.  It’s highly competitive for artists to gain entry – last I heard it was in the top three in the nation in terms of highest artist revenue of all art fairs in the U.S.

Lots of fanciful wind turbines at this booth.

We couldn’t pass this piece up.  Many of you may know of the story of Linda’s camp name – Raven.  It’s much too long to relate here, but that’s all I knew about her the first six months I knew her. This fanciful piece with a raven and scrabble letters will find it’s way on a wall somewhere in our house

one year ago…”Cherry Pie”

June 25, 2011 – Emma At Dorian Music Camp

One of Emma’s favorite weeks of the year is Dorian Music Camp at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  Nestled in the driftless landscape of trees, streams, hills and forests, it makes a great setting.

She has a week to concentrate on music and hang out with other kids with similar interests.

Dad cleaned up pretty good after being on the trout stream in the morning!

one year ago…”Cherries to Food”

June 24, 2011 – Martin’s First Trout

As long as we had to drive to Decorah to pick up Emma from music camp, we thought we’d take in some trout fishing in the area (yes, I know to most of the world “Iowa Trout” is an oxymoron of the 1st degree).  My brother met us with his camper, so we didn’t even have to sleep on the ground.

boy with trout

Martin had a bot of a struggle at the beginning learning a new kind of fishing that requires pinpoint accurary in casting, but he eventually got the hang of it.

boy on trout stream

And again…

I couldn’t resist this short video of a classic scene of young boy and flopping fish. We look forward to smoking the 20 trout we brought home!

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #214″

June 22, 2011 – Visit with the Secretary of Agriculture

Internship day three brought a visit to the top dogs at the USDA.

USDA Photo by Tom Witham.

Here Agriculture Secretary Vilsack talks to Claire, much as he did to her mother last summer.  Watch out if those two ever team up!  Claire said that the Secretary’s days are very scripted – sit in a specific chair from 8:05-8:15 for small talk with xyz, then move to next room and stand to greet someone else, and so it goes.  But he told the interns he wanted to go off script with them and show them his office.  Claire was impressed that the centerpiece of his office was a photo of George Washington Carver and Henry Wallace, namesakes of the Wallace-Carver interns.

USDA Photo by Tom Witham.

Here, Lona Stoll, Senior Advisor to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack briefs the interns.

USDA Photo by Tom Witham.

Finally, a picture of the whole gang.

one year ago…”Father’s Day”

June 21, 2011 – World Food Prize 2011 Laureate Announcement

The interns were invited to the 2011 World Food Prize Laureate announcement press conference at the State Department.

Interns mingle with the crowd in the Benjamin Franklin Room.

Claire thinking about taking the podium!

Claire hangs out with random documents in the State Department – in this case with the Treaty of Paris.

More interns at the podium.

Photo: World Food Prize

Claire was near the front at the presser (lower right).  Hillary was supposed to make the announcement but got held up at the White House where Obama evidently held her over (the day he made his announcement on troop withdrawal in the Middle East). Pols in attendance included Iowa congressional representatives Steve King, Tom Latham, Leonard Boswell, and former Senator George McGovern.
one year ago…”Summer Tradition”

June 20, 2011 – Washington Beginnings

The first-week of the internship starts in DC with all the interns from around the country.

Claire plays her role as special interest lobbyist well!

Hanging out with some of the other interns over a meal.

Mystery sign in a car parked outside the USDA office.  Not sure if it’s an employee’s funeral or a message to the USDA from Congress?
one year ago…”Mammatus”

June 18, 2011 – Claire Leaves for DC

Who could imagine this girl from the middle of nowhere in Iowa, setting out for a summer in DC, following a summer in India! Claire has certainly taken advantage of opportunities and shows what a bit of dedication and persistence can do, no matter where you live.

Here she is, with her summer full of bags, ready to take off to the airport to begin her summer.

Following is a brief summary about this summer’s internship lifted from the Carver-Wallace intern page – you can read more about Claire and the other interns at the Carver-Wallace Intern page.

“Fulfilling the shared vision of Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack and World Food Prize founder Dr. Norman Borlaug of inspiring the next generation of American scientific and humanitarian leaders, the United States Department of Agriculture and the World Food Prize Foundation have partnered to create the Wallace-Carver Internship Program.

The prestigious USDA Wallace-Carver Internships offer exceptional high school and college students the opportunity to collaborate with world-renowned scientists and policymakers through paid internships at leading USDA research centers and offices across the United States.

Fifteen former Borlaug-Ruan International Interns were selected to participate in the inaugural program in Summer 2011. These exceptional young leaders will be stationed at USDA research centers for eight weeks over the summer, where they will analyze agricultural and economic policy; assist in the management of food, nutrition and rural development programs; and take part in groundbreaking field and laboratory-based research.

The Wallace-Carver Internships kick off with a dynamic leadership and orientation training week in Washington D.C., hosted by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, where the students have the opportunity to:

  • meet privately with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture;
  • discuss global and domestic food security challenges with key officials from USDA, the State Department and USAID;
  • attend the World Food Prize Laureate Announcement Ceremony at the State Department and interact with a range of global leaders in science, industry, and policy;
  • meet with the scientific leadership of the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and tour the world’s largest and most diversified agricultural research complex;
  • engage with World Food Prize Laureates, as well as young scientific, congressional and humanitarian leaders working to end hunger and poverty in America and abroad during intimate dinner discussions around the District.”

As I told Claire, I hope that only the discussions turn intimate in the District.  Many in the District seem to have troubles knowing when to share their intimates!

one year ago…”High Hopes Flowers Grace Cover of Midwest Living Magazine”