Two weeks ago this afternoon I was out mowing the yard after work and received a phone from a lady named Tracy who congratulated me and then said I was the Midwest Farm Mom of the Year! She told me that my cousin, Angela, had nominated me and that I am joining four other moms from across this country as regional winners. I was then asked if I could go to St. Louis the following Wednesday through Friday to meet the other ladies, discuss the Farm Mom of the Year award, and get a tour of Monsanto.
For starters I was completely caught off guard and surprised! I was not expecting this at all and to hear that we were selected out of over 1400 nominations just blows my mind! I wondered what the heck my cousin wrote about me!
So off to St. Louis I went last Wednesday evening. I had no idea what was in store for me. I had heard about the Monsanto Mom of the Year before and know a few of the past winners, but never did I expect to be in their shoes! I had no idea who the other four ladies were and when we met in the hotel lobby early Thursday morning I knew right away I had four new friends!
We all come from different farming back grounds from different parts of the country, but we definitely had a few things in common. We were all wives, moms, farmers, and agvocates (advocates for agriculture)! You can read about each of their stories at the America’s Farmers website. All of these ladies have done so much for the ag industry and are hard-working farm moms just like all the other nominees are along with all the other moms across the country! We just go about our daily business of raising our families on our family farms, so to be recognized in this way is quite the honor.
The first thing we did Thursday morning after some introductions was take a tour of Monsanto and the biotech facilities. I’ve learned a lot about biotechnology and GMOs over the years, but this tour was amazing and very insightful!
Above you can see the evolution of corn and how it had changed over the centuries. Below is an original corn plant, the same that would have been found in Mexico a long time ago. It’s amazing how much it has evolved over the years and become what it is today-a high-yield producing crop.
We also got to see different stalks of corn that were infested with certain insects that attack the plants. You can see the middle corn stock is a GMO version and is standing tall and healthy and the non-GMO plants on either side of it are heavily damaged due to the insects.
The same goes for these soybean plants. You can definitely tell which plant is the GMO variety and which two are not!
Here are a few of the insects that these GMO traits protect the soybeans against. If we didn’t have these traits available to us today it would be impossible to raise the crops with the yields that we do today!
I’ve talked about GMOs numerous times here on my blog, but there’s so much more information out there about them. Some great places to learn more are at Discovery Monsanto, GMO Answers, and CommonGround. Also if you have any questions for me, please leave a comment below!
After the tour we discussed the Farm Mom of the Year award and what happens next. The following day (last Friday) they were going to publicly announce the regional winners and the website would be up so the public could vote on one overall national winner. Each person can vote 1 time per day until Wednesday, May 6, 2015. So if you know any of these ladies or would like to vote for me, please click here! Thank you!